Waaqeffanna

Waaqeffannaa is the religion of the Oromo people. Given the hypothesis that Oromo culture is a part of the ancient Cushitic cultures that extended from what is today called Ethiopia through ancient Egypt over the past three thousand years, it can be assumed that Waaqeffanna predates the Abrahamic religions in its origin.

It is a monotheistic religion that emanates from and based on belief in the Supreme Being of Waaqaa. To believe in Waaqaa, means to be loyal to his laws, acknowledge his wisdom as the creator and source of all lives.

According to Waaqeffannaa, God created all human beings. He cares for all creatures as he brought them into life and earth for the sustenance of life. He does not discriminate among human races too.

Task 1: Read this Waaqeffanna song and explain what you think that it means.

O wonder! O wonder! . . . The wonders are six: The hornbill complains without being sick; the plant flourishes without nourishment; the water runs without being urged; the earth is fixed without pegs; the heavens hold themselves up without supports; in the firmament He (God) has sown the chick-peas of heaven. These things fill me with wonder. Let us all pray to God! O God, who hast caused me to pass the day cause me to pass the night well!

The Waaqeffanna religion has no scriptures or holy books that exist today. The Waaqeffataas believe that Waaqa gave the Oromo a holy book, but it was swallowed by a cow. Because Waaqa was angry, he didn’t provide a second book. The believers of this religions hence look for the lost book in the intestines of cows. Where the religion is practiced, experts are called after cow slaughtering ceremonies to examine the lining of the intestines for meaning.

Task 2: Is having a religious book important? Why/why not? How would religions be affected by not having a religious book?

The Oromos believe that after death individuals exist in the form of a spirit called the ekeraa. They do not believe in suffering after death as in Christianity and Islam. If one commits sin, he/she is punished while still alive. The ekerraa is believed to stay near the place where the person once lived. One is obliged to pray and give offerings to ones parent’s ekerraa by slaughtering an animal every so often. The offering takes place near the family or clan cemetery, which is usually in a village.

Task 3: Which other African religions make sacrifices? Why do they do this?

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