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The Oromo Doctrine of God

Workineh Kelbessa


The Oromo of Ethiopia, the largest ethnic group, have their own indigenous religion known as Waaqeffanna. They believe in one Waaqa guraacha (black  God) – the God who created the universe and the various forms of life. Waaqa has multiple attributes. Waaqa is He who is before everything else. Waaqa  is Uumaa (a creator of everything in the world). Waaqa is hunda beekaa (omniscient). Waaqni gonkumaa kan hin Duune (God is immortal). Waaqa is  hundaa tolaa (omnibenevolent). Waaqa is hunda danda’aa (omnipotent). Nothing is impossible with Waaqa. Waaqa is the source and lover of dhugaa  (truth). Waaqa is Qulqulluu (pure). The Oromo people believe that in the olden days Waaqa was living on the Earth and only later that Waaqa left the  Earth in anger because of personal sin and became invisible. Waaqa is one and at the same time manifests Himself in different ways. This paper teases  out and highlights core Oromo views of God, his relationship with the world and the problem of evil.