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Ethiopia: fasting for 55 days

Ethiopia is one of the world's most religious countries. Orthodox Christians can fast seven times a year and wear religious-themed tattoos. In a politically troubled nation, people are "praying harder than ever.

For Ethiopians, religion and fasting inhabits a realm of faith and spirituality which many in the West can’t fathom nowadays. "Official theology teaches fasting is needed to come closer to God by repressing the flesh," says Makonnen, an Orthodox Church deacon. "Fasting is good because it clears one's mind from unnecessary energy. To be fully human you need a balance between spirit and body.”

The impact of fasting includes a serious downturn in business for café and restaurant owners. But Ethiopia is one of the most religious countries in the world

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