The Church, as the government of God, is an integral and democratic institution. It is the life of every community
which works in the lives if individuals. It is called upon to pledge to the words freedom, justice and peace in the world; to denounce violations of human indignity, to identify itself with the poor and oppressed.
Annals - Jamaica
The Prime Minister Hon. Michael Manley has described as a “…healthy development” The role of the Church in the Caribbean in focusing attention on the problems of the people, during discussions at Jamaica House on Friday with Archimandrite Abba Laike M. Mandefro, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A and Jamaica.
Daily Gleaner - May 21, 1972
With Mr. Manley was Senator the Hon. Dudley Thompson Minister of State in the Office Of the Prime Minister. Abba Mandefro who arrived in Jamaica on Thursday on a four-day visit at the invitation of the Government, was accompanied by Abba Gabre Eyesus Smith of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A, Deacon Tekle of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica and Mr. George Shoucair, Legal adviser to the Church. He also called on the Governor General Sir Clifford' Campbell at King's House.
Mr. Manley pointed out that Governments in the Western Hemisphere had lost spiritual inspiration because of the separation between Church and State. The Jamaican Government wanted to build a bridge of understanding between Church and State, he said and referred to the appointment of the Rev. Ashley Smith as his advisor on Church State relations.
Manley sees healthy development in role of Church
The Prime Minister stated that in the Caribbean the Church was focusing it’s attention on the problems of the people and this is of “…tremendous significance.” The Church was not only concerned with the spiritual salvation of the people but temporal sufferings of the people and this was a healthy development. Father Mandefro emphasized the importance of a close relationship between Church and State. He said that it was essential that Government work closely with the Church “… because the church is the people and the people the church and the government is of the people.” He explained that in Ethiopia separation between Church and State did not exist.
Archimandrite Mandefro Guest of PM
Archimandrite Abba Laike M. Mandefro, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A and Jamaica was a guest of honour at a luncheon given by the Prime Minister Hon. Michael Manley at Jamaica House on Friday, May 19.
Archimandrite Mandefro is on a four-day visit to Jamaica at the invitation of the Government. In welcoming Archimandrite Mandefro Mr. Manley said that his presence symbolized two things, which he regarded of significance to Jamaica – the new dialogue between Africa, Jamaica, and the development of closer relations between church and state. The Prime Minister said that he genuinely believed that any government that denied itself to spiritual advice impoverished itself by this denial.
He continued to say that one of the greatest experiences he ever had was three years ago when as Leader of the Opposition he was received in audience by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie. That audience was a source of inspiration Mr. Manley stated and he was particularly impressed with the Emperor’s views on the importance of education in human development.
Replying Archimandrite Mandefro said, “… Our brothers and sisters in the West have been cut off from the real cultural heritage of their own.” He expressed the need to develop closer cultural ties between Jamaica and Africa. Archimandrite Mandefro hoped that all the church leaders in Jamaica would give their support to the building of their communities. Among others present were: Hon. David Coore Q.C, The Hon. P.J Patterson. Sir Egerton Richardson. His Excellency Keith Johnson. The Rev. S.U Hastings, Rev. Ashley Smith. Mr. J. M. Lloyd, Councillor Vin Bennett, Mr. Vernon Wilson, Mr. Grant, Mr. George Shoucair, Dr. Abeng Doonquah, Deacon Gilbert Arscott. Mrs. Corina Meeks, Mr. Dennis Watson, Mr. Mortimer Planno, Mr. Kassahun Kidane. Kesis Gabre Eyesus Smith, Rev. Fr. K.J Mock Yen and Mr. Lorell Bruce.
Western Secular & Spiritual Education
The school is one institution which has the power to influence the life of man. Today there are many schools and universities
in Africa and elsewhere, established by or headed by black people, yet when one thinks deeply about it, the black child
has nothing to grasp as their curriculum is originated after the western perception. There are many churches and church organizations which are established and administered by black ministers and followed by black congregations,
but none of them are relevant to the life of the black people as they are structured after the pattern and life-style of the European communities. As long as the Africans and their descendants continue to live in the life-style of other nations, they are still in captivity and their liberation is not yet certain.
One peculiar problem was that, if England used its navy to impose an oil embargo, such an action was presumed to lead to misunderstandings with America over the freedom of sea traffic. For this and other reasons, it remained impossible to stop Italy's aggression.[H.I.M]
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip bowing before Emperor Haile Selassie First of Ethiopia and His wife, Empress Menem Asfew. As far as is known Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have never bowed before anyone else.
Do not remove the kinks from your hair--remove them from your brain. [Marcus Garvey]
Most of the time we hear criticisms from several goverments and individuals on the involvement of the Church in community affairs. In fact; the Church is the link between God and Man and as such it is the duty of the church to identify itself with the poor and oppressed.
If the Church, which is to be an instrument of the word of God and the mouth of the oppressed, is to keep silent and be afraid to witness the truth, it means that she has forgotten that Christ was a revolutionary and compassionate, and that he established the Church as a revolutionary God, contradicting himself with the old system, which was contrary to the freedom and welfare of all men.
The Ethiopian Tewahedo* Church is an indigenous and integral church of Africa.It is one of the oldest churches in the world, if not the oldest, and is one of the founders of the World Council of Churches.
"...His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I is the defender of the faith. He attends Church services regularly and strictly observes the frequent Fast days and Holy days. He never misses Sunday morning services. He brought a strong Unity among the Eastern Orthodox Churches with their central office being organized in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and the central committee of the world council of churches had it’s meeting in January 1971 in Addis Ababa through His Majesty."