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FACE (Friends of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa) supports the vital ministry of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa by raising awareness in the UK, providing grants to support that work and facilitating opportunities for people in the UK to volunteer in the region.
For almost 30 years the Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa has brought the hope of Christ and practical support to people in the Horn of Africa. Starting in the late 1980s during the war between north and south Sudan, ministry in refugee camps and relationships built with indigenous people from many tribes, have resulted in over 80 Anglican churches in the region and growth continues apace.
In addition to St Matthew’s Church in Addis Ababa, most of the Anglican Church’s work in the Horn of Africa is concentrated in the remote Gambella Region in South Western Ethiopia (bordering South Sudan). There are also fragile churches in northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somaliland and Djibouti and plans to expand into southern Ethiopia. The Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa is part of the wider Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
The region is one of the least-developed areas in the world. It has a history of conflict and has hosted refugees from South Sudan for decades, many of whom are Anglican Christians, seeking solace from the church. Most people rely on pastoralism or subsistence agriculture. Crop failures are common due to drought or flooding. Traditional farming methods, compounded by population growth and changing patterns of settlement, cause rapid land degradation. Poor hygiene and sanitation have dramatic negative effects on public health. Illiteracy levels are very high, particularly amongst women, of whom some 75% are not literate.
The Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa and its Bishop, Grant LeMarquand, first and foremost engage in Christian Ministry; sharing God’s word, building community (and church buildings), training clergy and lay people and welcoming new Christians into the fold every year. Moreover, they provides practical support to congregation members (including refugees who often arrive distressed and in poor health) and leadership and life-skills training to empower and support the women members of the Mothers’ Union.