"Even the church here itself it was established through his desire. We: He said, worship our God; through the Eyes of Ethiopia, and so we have it here now."
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.
The Archimandrite disclosed that there would be a baptism of 300 souls in Jamaica shortly and that he hoped to have a pastor from Africa to guide them. He also said that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was one of the oldest Churches on earth dating back to the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.
There are many individuals who have made claims about the mission of His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq in the West and in particular in Jamaica.
People say that Abuna Yesehaq came here to "Convert" the Rastafarians to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. People who claim this either do not understand the mission in the West
or are obstacles to said mission. The Rastafarians wrote letters to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie First calling for a branch of the church in Jamaica. It was an invitation; as the Ethiopian church does not proselytize
it comes when asked to.
One cannot convert Christians to Christianity, Every True Rastafarian is a defender of Christ. What was lacking was the indigenous and integral church of Africa; The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the culture, the Black Icons, the fasting days, the Holy Days, the Feasting Days, the Baptism and the Holy Communion. There are people who because of their misunderstanding or opposition try to impose their interpretation upon Abba Yesehaq, who called himself the Rasta Bishop and was proud of that. The Ethiopian Hierarchy; The Jamaican State and Churches also the powers of the West fought against His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie First, His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq, the The Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica and the Rastafarians. Further; there were certain Rastafarian Leaders who succumbed to the love of power, money, position and turned their back on Abba Yesehaq and the Church. Leading their followers away from the church even after His Majesty the Emperor told them personally to work with Abba Yesehaq.
The Jamaican Supreme Court in May 2014 with the consent and support of the Jamaica Council of Churches, the Anglican Curch in Jamaica and the Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica took away the Church property from the members and gave it to persons opposed to the Administration of Abba Yesehaq. The main reason they opposed Abba Yesehaq was because he refused to trim and condemn the Rastafarians, and because he was teaching the True African culture to black people down here in the West. Persons who Abba Yesehaq had ordained and elevated and who betrayed him; These are the individuals that caused many problems and divisions between Abba Yesehaq and the Rastafarian community from the 1970's till now. Yet we know that this fight will be won and that the Judgement is Sure.
"....Does the name Rastafarian, applied to an individual or group, diminish that individual's or group's humanity or citizenship? "For many years Rastafarians just existed; today they are seeking, with their own incentive, because of the Orthodox Church to establish themselves as citizens of Jamaica, the world, Black Men and children of GOD. ......From my own experiences with Rastafarians since my first visit to the island last year, I know them to be an honest, peace loving, God-fearing and very creative people and by their membership in an ancient Christian Church obviously do not oppose Christianity."
(The Daily Gleaner, Abba Yesehaq. 1971)
"....It is the responsibility of the church leaders to work in unity for the growing religious life of churches, and this must be done without trying to convert others from that which they remain attached, because such ideas bring conflicts among nations. We have seen the great fighting between the Romans and the Ethiopians. Revolt after revolt broke out, when the Roman Christians attempted to to bring the Ethiopian Christians under the Pope of Rome."
(The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church And It's Activities in the West - Nation which has been the Fountainhead of Civilization,
Abba L. Mandefro p.32 ©1971)