Huntington's Clash of Civilizations in Microcosm?
I see from Wikipedia that Ethiopia is about 33.9 percent Muslim and about 62.8 percent Christian, the latter divided into 43.5 percent Orthodox and 19.3 percent other denominations, mostly Protestant, I suppose. The place is thus one in which to take a glance through a Huntingtonian lens, though of no statistical validity admittedly. Huntington argues that Western Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Islam form the basis of different civilizations and that the clashes among civilizations reflect the clashes among religions. He might have therefore expected three-way clashes in Ethiopia, perhaps similar to those in Bosnia.
Let's look at what Matthew D. LaPlante says of the three religious groups in his article "Growing in the Word" for Christianity Today (September 16, 2011):
In 2002, a mob of Orthodox priests and adherents carrying axes and machetes attacked Protestants in the town of Merawi, injuring many and killing Pastor Damtew Demelash of the Full Gospel Believers Church. Just a few years earlier . . . a stone-throwing mob of Orthodox Christians attacked Protestants attending a conference, wounding 51.This Ethiopian microcosm of the clash among these three religious groups might appear to illustrate Huntington's views, but not quite to the letter, for attacks by Islamic extremists would seem to be motivating the Orthodox and the Protestants toward religious unity. On a civilizational scale -- if I might be allowed to speculate in a statistically meaningless way -- this could imply that the rise of Islamism in the Muslim world and corresponding attacks upon Christians of all denominations would also give rise to increasing unity between Western Civilization and Orthodox Civilization.
But at St. Gabriel's Orthodox Church, priest Aba Mezmur Hawaz tells his parishioners not to quarrel with fellow Christians. If someone is better able to see God through a Protestant lens, he said, so be it. "The whole world of Christians -- we are all going to go up one way together."
He gave a different assessment of the Muslims in his community. "They will go a different way," he said. "And if they want to fight with us, we will fight with them."
This is not a matter of simple religious prejudice. In recent years, both Orthodox and Protestant Christians have been the victims of attacks by Islamic extremists, which killed several people and destroyed scores of Christian homes and churches. Although they are still relatively rare, such attacks have brought Christian leaders together for support, protection, and prayer.
But this, of course, is mere speculation that depends upon Huntington being both right and wrong . . .