A majority of Christians worldwide now live in the global South. Ethiopia is an epicenter of this accelerating shift.

In 2010 it had the 10th largest Christian population of any nation; by 2050, it will rank 3rd! Young Ethiopians of this generation and the next will by midcentury be leading a worldwide center of Christian life and thinking. Will they be ready?

Two who will are Sofanit and Paulos, who married in 2011. Sofanit could easily have followed the brain drain to the West. She attended university in Germany and was well into a doctorate in biology when God redirected her life.

With support from the PC(USA) Global Education and International Leadership Development program, she is now in Addis Ababa working toward a Ph.D. and a teaching career in biblical studies.

Because only one woman in all of Ethiopia has a Ph.D. in theology, Sofanit is a role model for young women long deprived of educational and leadership opportunities.

Drawing on her science background, she will also equip a new generation of Christian leaders to show that modern science and genuine faith are not enemies.

Paulos is a prolific Christian journalist, with two books already published and more on the way. In his writing and teaching, he addresses young adults often caught between a very traditional society and the pervasive influence of Western culture.

His provocative magazine articles challenge his generation to develop vital critical-thinking skills.

His work, joined with Sofanit’s, is preparing future generations of Ethiopian Christians as leaders not only of society but of a Christian community of increasing global significance.

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