About Oromiyaa

ARTICLE CONTENTS:

  5. Religion

ReligionOromos recognize the existence of a supreme being or Creator that they call Waaqa. They have three major religions: original Oromo religion (Waaqa), Islam, and Christianity. The original religion considers the organization of human, spiritual, and physical worlds to be interconnected phenomena whose existence and functions are regulated by their creator, God or Waaqa. Through each person's ayaana (spiritual connection), Waaqa acts in the person's life. There are three Oromo concepts that explain the organization and interconnection of human, spiritual, and physical worlds: ayaana, uuma (nature), and saffu (the ethical and moral code).

Uuma includes everything created by Waaqa, including ayaana. Saffu is a moral and ethical code that Oromos use to differentiate bad from good and wrong from right. The Oromo religious institution is called the qallu; the qallu is the center of the Oromo religious view. QalIu leaders traditionally played important religious roles in Oromo society. The Ethiopian colonizing structure suppressed the Oromo system of thought and worldview by eliminating Oromo cultural experts such as the raa gas (Oromo prophets), the ayaantus (time reckoners), and oral historians. Today Islam and Christianity play important religious roles in Oromo society. In some Oromo regions, Orthodox Christianity was imposed on the Oromos by the Ethiopian colonizing structure; in other areas, Oromos accepted Protestant Christianity to resist Orthodox Christianity. Some Oromos accepted Islam to resist Ethiopian colonialism and Orthodox Christianity. Islam was imposed on other Oromos by Turko-Egyptian colonialism. However, some Oromos have continued to practice their original religion. Both Christianity and Islam have been greatly influenced by the original Oromo religion.