From Ethiopia’s Christians to Muslims everywhere in Africa, this is how we do the fast

Religious hardliners are trying to mess things, but breaking the fast was always a time of cheer, generosity, and fun in Africa across religions.

RECENTLY while a menu in Ethiopia, in amongst the fantastic variety of spicy “wot” dishes, pan-fried “tibs” meat dishes or chick-pea heaven, in the form of “shiro”, are a couple of options which recur in all the restaurants “fasting food” and “non-fasting food”.

It turns out that both these dishes are a permanent fixture on menus because they accommodate the country’s orthodox Christians who fast for most Wednesdays and Fridays. In fact, fasting plays an incredibly important role in the lives of Ethiopia’s orthodox Christians who make up 43.5% of the population; the Ethiopian Orthodox Church requires people over age 13 to fast for at least 180 days a year.

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