Religion is a constant and central feature in Ethiopia's society. In earlier times, Christianity, Islam and Judaism were the three major religions that formed the culture. Today nearly half the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose 4th century beginnings came long before Europe accepted Christianity. Some 35 % of the population is Muslim, mostly Sunnis, members of the largest Islamic sect. The rest of the population adheres to traditional and other beliefs. In Ethiopia Christians and Muslims live peacefully together. Despite the different religion people have developed a common Ethiopian character: all are welcoming, kind and hospitable towards foreigners.