THE BLACK MAN
The black man, whose dreams are always of freedom, does not understand the IMPOSSIBILITY of gaining freedom and peace through machine guns. He cannot see the POSSIBILITY of gaining peace from the individual himself, through love and understanding. Machine guns are a disease and are effective instruments in dividing a nation against itself or creating war with it's neighbours. (Abba Yesehaq)
Before the church was established in the Sudan volunteer Ethiopian clergymen, such as Kes Tsegaye and Mamher Laike Mariam Beru, administered sacraments to the ethiopian community there.
The Ethiopian church in Jerusalem was one of the first established Christian churches there. Soon after the resurrection of our Lord Eyesus Kristos, Ethiopian monks and holy men and women as well began streaming to the Holy Land, many of whom never returned home, but lived a holy life there instead. There is innumerable evidence regarding the presence of the Ethiopians in the Holy Land and the properties they possessed: During the Moslem conquest of Jerusalem (634-44 A.D.), the Ethiopian community occupied very important parts of the holy places, including the Monastery of Der Seltan (Deir es Sultan) and among the Christians to whom kalif Omar promised protection were the Ethiopians.
The church building in Cologne, Longerich (Lindweilerweg 94), built seventy years ago and named Lutherkapelle, belongs to the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde, Cologne-Gartenstadt and was kindly and helpfully transferred to the Orthodox Ethiopians. The foundation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Germany is being supported by the Tabor Society, instituted by Professor Friedrich Heyer and his students while they were in Ethiopia at Dabra Tabor, Constructing a school of the Orthodox Church.
The mission of the Church is to restore people to unity with God and with each other. In the course of it's work,
the Church is not kept alive by the purity of it's dogma and tradition, which alone cannot be a complete task, but rather by it's active commitment to the needs of the people.
It is therefore called upon to help individuals and communities face painful and disruptive changes in the circumstances of their lives.
Today, vast numbers of people suffer not only from various emotional pains, depression, boredom, anxiety, restlessness, inability to learn, inability to work, inability to make commitments, but also vast numbers of people suffer from various acts of injustice, oppression, discrimination and from lack of freedom to be human. Thus because of these stressful issues in the lives of persons in our world who might need specialized care, the Church should allow itself to offer it's services within this framework, not only to provide pastoral and psychological services, but also to speak out against injustice.
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.
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 of individuals. It is called upon to pledge to freedom, justice, and peace in the world; to denounce violations of human dignity, to identify itself with the poor and oppressed. This principle does not make the Church a political party or as taking sides with political parties, but as God is the Father of all and above all, His Church is above all parties, appointed by God to see that all justices are done on the planet, The Earth, to freely speak against all injustices and wrong doing.
All persons around the world are called upon to do justice in their administrations. Furthermore, Christian Churches and other religious denominations are called upon to speak out and pray for peace and justice.
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.
He was not silent. Instead, He suffered and died and all Apostles followed His steps. They were murdered one after the other witnessing the truth.
Yet; the Church today is not different from the "..Priest and Levite in St. Luke who mercilessly passed the victim by on the other side.", during the time the theives wounded him and departed leaving him half dead. They were ashamed or afraid to witness the truth. Thus, shall also Christ be ashamed of them when he cometh in the Glory of His Father.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church abroad is a blessing to its faithful believers and is the fulfillment of the promise of the Almighty Father to gather together His people under their own vine and fig tree. One can be deeply inspired by the great act taking place among the scattered sons and daughters of Africa.
We are in a period of national and cultural revival and have reached the right age for all people of African decent to investigate the past and look forward to rediscovering their cultural heritage. It is the proper time for every National group to search for identity. The Jew needs to practice the rites of Judaism; The Western nations need to belong to the life of the great Western civilization; the African descendants, too, want to identify themselves with the spirit of Africa.
Africa has made her contributions to nations. This contribution is for the most part a spiritual one. The Ethiopian Orthodox church has stretched her hands unto the east and west and has established branch churches in Jerusalem, Sudan, West Germany, Djibouti, England, North and South America, and the Caribbean countries. Thus another contribution of spiritual power has been added to the already Christian nations of the world.
The establishment of the branches of the Ethiopian Orthodox church abroad was made possible through the invitation of zealous followers of the Ancient Ethiopian faith and is the fulfillment of their dreams.
It has been a long time since African people were separated from each other against their will. Ethiopia, together with the church, has kept the cultures and heritages of Africa to this day. She has put forward and maintained the greatest effort in keeping alive this cultural history of the black people. The Ethiopian church has always considered it her privilege and duty to reach out to non-Christian peoples at home and abroad.
However a Christian church, being the Kingdom of God, should not and cannot limit itself to one nation. It must go out and preach the Gospel throughout the world regardless of race, colour, or distance following the commandment of our Lord: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the ages.”
The church of Ethiopia has been an ancient lighthouse for freedom before and after Christ. She will not force anyone to break contact with what he or she is attached to, and she is continuously praying for the entire world that God should hasten His purpose and put in the mind of all the desire for that which is good and expedient. The Churches missionary activities outside Ethiopia did not begin until 1952. However, monasteries were established in Jerusalem since the beginning of Christianity and unofficial missionary work began in Sudan in 1940.
The late start of the Church’s missionary work is a result of Ethiopia being preoccupied for centuries with self-defense and the maintenance of the Christian faith against internal and external foes, including the Moslems, who occupied the Red Sea coasts.
Furthermore, the church was busy defending itself against proselytism and imperialism and had no time to propagate the Gospel outside of Ethiopia.