II. AGAINST EXPLOITATION:
In our efforts to establish cooperative projects for members of the church, among others, there will be a need to resist the slightest measure of exploitation. I know of the tremendous
sacrifice many of you have made in bringing certain projects to viability. I know of the impressive exercise of participation in the decision-making processes of the church’s business,
and of those times when volunteer labour walked many miles ahead of capital. The project on
these grounds is an example of sacrifice; and I have been told that a small bakery is being proposed which is to be located in the Kingston 11 area.
I urge you, therefore, to champion the principle of co-operative enterprise and have absolutely nothing to do with exploitation. Exploitation is an aspect of social and economic organization that is ethically not in keeping with the Christian conscience. Let me now outline briefly some important features of this church, which I believe will make for its special contribution
to nation building and the reform of Christianity in Jamaica. I shall approach this in the context of the historical and current meaning of the church.
III. THE TRADITIONAL, ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE STATE:
The church will need to develop a special educational ministry that will seek to reverse the traditional attitude
of some brethren towards the State and the police — better known as Babylon. Related to this, is the need to give urgent attention to the idea that we are now the keepers of our own destiny. There is, therefore, a need for members of this church to consider their role in relation to the security of their own local communities, either as a direct part of or in co-operation with the State and Its agencies of security.
Beyond it’s meaning as an ancient and legendary African Church, its role at shaping
the character of early Christianity,
and for our current purposes, its status as a
founding member of the World Council of Churches, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by virtue of its connection with the Rastafari movement in Jamaica, is the church that has consistently maintained an anti-imperialist stance.
Prior to the emergence of a political consciousness against imperialism, the church, in its related inspiration to Emperor Haile Selassie
teachings of Marcus Garvey
has contributed significantly to the process of positive identification with Africa.
Significantly in this regard, when Garvey became our first National Hero it was logical that the work of Rastafarians in promoting the teachings of Garvey,
received recognition. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has the outstanding claim of being a church that came by invitation of The Jamaican people unlike many of our established
churches. The people who called for it were conscious of their alienation from the colonial mainstream in our country and by their artistic and cultural contributions, they have given the
face of religion something that is stamped with the authentic character and aspirations
of our people.