Abuna Yesehaq, the Pan-African Archbishop

Filed under: History,Opinion & Analysis |

By Mulugeta Haile
Happy 14th Tribute Day From Adwa to Jamaica

Happy 14th Tribute Day From Adwa to Jamaica

I would like to congratulate all those of the Jamaican Orthodox faith who hold this special occasion every year for His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq. Thank you for the invitation to attend the anniversary. Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in spirit.

I was introduced to Abuna Yesehaq in Washington DC by the late Yosif Ford, the son of Rabbi Josiah Ford who was the music director of the UNIA. Yosif told the Abuna that I needed help to find the work of Dr Malaku

Bayen, the founder of the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF). The Abuna invited me to his apartment in New Jersey and later sent me to Jamaica to meet individuals who incorporated the EWF in Jamaica. At the time, they were the founders of EWF branches throughout Jamaica. When I returned from Jamaica I stayed with him for two days and conveyed to him all that I had learned. He became uncomfortable when he heard that I had learned more about him than Dr. Malaku. The Abuna did not want to hear about himself. I told him that he had fulfilled what Dr. Malaku started. The Abuna said, “Nobody told me that my work is an extension of Dr. Malaku’s”. I also told him that he had managed to find a safe haven for the Ethiopianism that had been uprooted by communism and tribalism.

To get to know more about his early life, I asked him who his friends were. He gave me a list of their telephone numbers, except that of Abuna Paulos, the late patriarch of Ethiopia, because of the ethnic politics that led the division of the Holy Synod in 1991. I managed to interview all of them, some in person and others through long distance telephone conversations. These were nine colleagues who had traveled with him by ship in 1962 from Ethiopia to the U.S. to study theology in Buffalo, NY. While each one of them gave different perspectives, all agreed on his dedication and sociability.

Abuna Tadios, the Archbishop of the Caribbean and Latin America, whom I interviewed in 2005 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, had fond memories of Abuna Yesehaq despite the division of the EOTC. Abuna Tadios said: “My heart and mind is with Abuna Yesehaq but I am serving who ever sits in Addis Ababa as Ichege of the Holy See of Saint Tekle Haymanot, who restored the EOTC in the 12 century and enabled the EOTC to share power with the monarchy for 700 years until 1974.”

In my still un-published book, Abuna Yesehaq: The Pan African Archbishop, I highlighted seven major events of his life:

  • His election by Emperor Haile Selassie;
  • His interest in meeting Malcolm X in Harlem in 1963. (The Abuna left a note in one of the Muslim shops in Harlem to Malcolm X, saying that he wanted to discuss The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church with him);
  • His connection with the founders of the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF) including: Lij Araya Abebe, (second in command to Dr Malaku Bayan), Weizero Asegedech, (disseminator of The Voice of

Ethiopia, the weekly newspaper of the EWF in New York City), Dorothy Bayen, (wife of Dr Malaku and Chief Editor of The Voice of Ethiopia);

  • The special prayer he conducted on the 20th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa in the1980s;
  • His acquaintance with the four Reggae icons: Rita, Bob, Peter, and Bunny Wailer;
  • The baptismal ceremony of Bob Marley, why he named him Berhan Selassie, and how he led Bob’s funeral services both at The Holy Trinity Church at Maxfield Avenue, and at The National Stadium as his godfather. Why he liked Peter Tosh and why he ordered to have his tomb painted with Orthodox symbols even though Peter never accepted his teaching of Christianity;
  • Finally, his invitation to the home of Nelson Mandela after his

My book outlines the Abuna’s life story: from his birth place, Endabba- Girema, Adwa, to his work and final resting place, Jamaica. I have depicted him not only as an honorable Abuna but also as a person. I hope to publish it one day.

Abuna Yesehaq brought the EOTC, the bedrock foundation of Ethiopia, in 1970, to the Western Hemisphere. With New York City as his base, the Abuna helped to establish new churches throughout the Caribbean Islands, cities in the USA, Toronto, London, and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

Martimo Planno (Wolde Hawariyat), who wrote the lyric; Selassie is the Chapel, for Bob Marley, said: “The Abuna was known here in Jamaica in the 70s for preaching the uniqueness of ancient Ethiopia’s faith, along with Garveyism. To get our attention, he held a gold cross with his right hand, which he said was a gift from Emperor Haile Selassie, and a book on Marcus Garvey in the left. In his closing sermon, he would customarily say, ‘This church came to Jamaica on the orders of Emperor Haile Selassie the First,” Martimo added, “ We Rastafarians gave him tough times. We were more interested in the teaching of Haile Selassie than Christianity. Finally he managed to establish the Orthodox Church and baptized many Rastafarians in Kingston at the river he named Debre- Zeyt. I myself was baptized and was given my Ethiopian name. The meaning of my name fitted with the role I have been playing in the Rastafarian Community.”

How the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church reached Jamaica, Dr Menase Haile, minister of information, said: “During the Emperor’s visit to Jamaica in 1966, the government of Jamaica said to his majesty that all the Rastafarians who welcomed you would like to go to Ethiopia to live. Do you have a place for them? The Emperor replied, ‘I want them to stay on this beautiful island, instead I will bring the value of Ethiopia to them. That was why the Ethiopia Tewahedo Orthodox Faith was established in Jamaica.”

The Abuna once was asked why he was bothering with Jamaicans who would prefer to be baptized in the name of Emperor Haile Selassie and he replied: “I love difficult children.” These “difficult children” were the freedom fighters against the representative of the British colonial power.

When the Abuna learned that the police officers were using axes to cut dreadlocks inside the prison, he spoke with the head of the police department and said, “In every corner there are churches in Jamaica, but where is the morality of Christ? How could you cut a prisoner’s hair with an axe?”

Whether “difficult” or hated, the Rastafarians never disappointed the Abuna; they stayed with him in good times as well as in trying times. They showered him with love and honor. His disciples who converted from the faith of Rastafari to Tewahedo did not wait to get the approval of the Ethiopian Synod to sanctify him as a saint; they had already called him Saint Yesehaq since the day he passed away in 2005. To institutionalize the name, Deacon Greenland established a kindergarten in Kingston with the name Saint Yesehaq.

Shortly before the Abuna passed away, I was in New York with Dr Girma Abebe. He knew the Abuna for 40 years and was the first Ethiopian who wrote the story of Dr Malaku Bayen in English. We were on one of our regular visits with the Abuna at Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey. While the Abuna was half asleep, he said to us, “How far away is our home!” After we left the hospital, Dr Girma told me not to forget the Abuna’s final words. I hope that Dr Girma will talk about this occasion in his interview this Saturday on the Jamaican radio, as part of a special program on Saint Yesehaq’s life and works.

Years before the Abuna’s death, he and I visited one of his churches, St Mariam Church in Ocho-Rios, Jamaica, and spent a night at the house of Father Hayle Malekot, who was the head administrator of the Jamaican

Orthodox Church. The next day, Father Malekot was driving us to Kingston with the Abuna seated in the back while I sat in the front. When we reached the beautiful breathtaking Dunn’s River falls area, the Abuna interrupted my conversation with Father Malekot and said: “Listen both of you, when I die I want to be buried in Jamaica”. I said, “Abbatachen (our father) why do you talk about death on such a beautiful day?” and he replied, “Don’t you know the native Indian saying, it is a good day to die?”                                                          Yes, December 29, 2005 – the day that Abuna Yesehaq passed away in New Jersey, was indeed a beautiful day.

The following day, a few Ethiopians held a teleconference in New York to discuss and make a decision on the date and time of the Abuna’s funeral service, and how and when to take the coffin to Ethiopia. Mergeta Afewerk, a church scholar, was one of the participants of the telephone discussion. I happened to be at his house and told him of the Abuna’s wish to be buried in Jamaica. The Mergeta relayed this information and the issue was resolved.

The Abuna’s remains came to Jamaica after a special service in New York. Ethiopians, African-Caribbeans, the Abunas’s clergies, disciples, and Ethiopian Archbishops from all over the States, including the leaders of the two factions of the ETOC, Abuna Melketsede and Abuna Mathias, who is currently the Patriarch of Ethiopia, came to express their grief.

When any Ethiopian high priest dies in the U.S. his remains are usually flown to Ethiopia. It is the wish of every archbishop in the world to be buried in Jerusalem. However, Abuna Yeshaq chose Jamaica, the land where he served for 35 years. In doing so, he fulfilled the prophecy of the proverb that says apostles don’t have a country and a particular burial ground but they will be where they serve. He is the only non-Jamaican officially to be buried with such love and honor.

The last funeral service was held at the National Arena in Jamaica on January 20th, 2006. The event is now etched in the history of Jamaica. The nation’s political parties’ representatives and celebrities in many sectors were among the thousands of mourners. Portia Simpson, who later became the Prime Minster of Jamaica in the following election, gave her personal testament. She was one of the speakers at the National Arena. She took out the gold Tewahedo cross she was wearing and said “This is the cross that Abuna gave me along with a new Ethiopian name, Fikerta Mariam”.

The highlight of the event at the National Arena was the Jamaican Orthodox prayer service. The seminaries in Habesha Shema, Priests and deacons were in Tewahedo attire holding thuribales in one hand and vibrant umbrellas in the other. They were circling the casket and chanting in Geez. To set the mood of the Tewahedo, the arena was filled with the smoke and scent of incense. Performances by legendary Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt, famously known as the I-Threes, as well as the church choir, all stood behind the Abuna’s coffin and sang songs to praise the Abuna for his incredible achievements.

Tesfa Mariam, a Jamaican Orthodox who was known for his role in Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come, a famous film from the 70s, said, “ Abuna Yeshehaq’s funeral service is the most magnificent after Bob Marley’s, for which the Abuna led the service. Abba was a star, with his unique Tewahedo’s cape, circling Bob’s coffin three times while burning frankincense and blessing the coffin with his cross and chanting in Geez language. This was something that we had never seen before. Whoever might have been unaware of the Orthodox Church’s existence and purpose will certainly have learned about it by then. He made us proud of the Tewahedo culture.

After the Abuna’s historical funeral service in the National Arena, the limousine decorated with the flag of the Lion of Judah was moving at a snail’s pace towards St Trinity Cathedral (which the Abuna named Dejae Selam-House of Peace), while hundreds of cars followed in a long line stretching three miles. The people gathered on the sides of the road to find out who famous had passed away. To their surprise, he was not Jamaican. They must have been felt that he was bigger than life. His story to them probably would match with a passage out of the Holy Bible.

St Trinity Cathedral was filled with a sea of people as the casket arrived. The elders, who were living within the church compound and could not go to the National arena, circled the burial site. They were weeping not only for the Abuna, but also for their uncertain future. The Abuna was the one who helped build their shelter. They knew him since 1970 when he arrived for the first time in Jamaica. In their youth, they were members of the UNIA and EWF, who had fought for freedom and equality but did not have a caretaker in their old age. Among them was Woltae Selassie who was the first female to receive this baptismal name. She was the scholar who beautifully edited a play by Mortimo Planno called “We Are God’s

Children”. When the play runs at the University of Jamaica, the chancellor was so impressed that he helped three Rastafarians, three Pan-Africanists and three Garvites to earn free tickets to visit Africa in 1961.

The elders who were living in the church compound were good in Amharic, as lessons were offered by the late Decons Tsgaye, an Ethiopian who was an assistant of the Abuna. Decaon Tsgaye was also the private Amharic teacher of Bob Marley.

I will leave you with the statement of Tekeste Berhan (baptismal name) famously known as Bigdaddy, one of Abuna’s God sons. He said, “Abba’s soul is so strong, it will guide us until we repatriate to Africa. His spirit makes the Babylon’s sour life sweet”


On this occasion, we also give credit to Emperor Haile Selassie1 who led Abuna Yesehaq to this great position.

I wish you all a very happy 14th Memorial Day!!

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52 Responses to Abuna Yesehaq, the Pan-African Archbishop

  1. Excellent! Thank u sir so much. God blessed Saint Yishak. God bless the children of Africa. Mungu baraki Wattoto Africa.

    Bill Haile
    December 28, 2019 at 1:05 am

  2. This was a very well written article about such an important man in Ethiopian/Jamaican history. I really liked how the story of how the great Abuna Yesehaq came about and his impact on the people of Jamaica. I also enjoyed learning about the writers personal experiences with Yesehaq and how it related to what kind of a man he truly was. God bless Abuna Yesehaq and happy 14th memorial day!

    Abebe Zewdu
    December 29, 2019 at 10:12 am

  3. This was a very well written article about such an important man in Ethiopia/ Jamaican history. I really liked how the story of how the great Abune Yesehaq came about and his impact on the people of Jamaica. I also enjoyed learning about the writers personal experience with Yesehaq and how it related to what kind of a man he truly was. God bless Abune Yesehaq and happy 14th Memorial Day!

    Abebe Zewdu
    December 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm

  4. What a story!! the best true story i have ever read as the 2019 goes by.
    Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela, and Emperor Haile Selassie in one article never read before. Hope Abuna Yesehaq’s sole will smile in heaven.

    Celia Witter
    December 29, 2019 at 10:35 pm

  5. Thank you, zehabesha for posting this brilliant and insightful tribute. The article is connected a dot of the Pan African movement. God bless and happy new year for the Jamaican Orthodox people. In honoring Abuna Yesehaq you honored the Pan African movement.

    Badege Melile
    December 29, 2019 at 10:42 pm

  6. This reminds me of the song of Jij, “Emama Ethiopia”. This great hermit, Abuna Yesehaq toiled for Emama Ethiopia. Does the Ethiopia Orthodox Church has this kind of Abuna who preaches about Marcus Garvey along with Eyesus kerstos?

    Ceman Getahun
    December 29, 2019 at 11:07 pm

  7. I read this article with surprised. I wish the Ethiopian priestess and archbishops in Diaspora as well as in Ethiopia read this article. Can the author translate this amazing story or allow somebone to do for him? this article must distribute to every Ethiopian church. They must learn what it takes to be the archbishops. Abuna Yesehaq was a true preacher of Ethiopia-winet. Long live Ethiopia !!

    Vivian Moges
    December 29, 2019 at 11:13 pm

  8. I read this article twice & cried twice because I knew Abuna Yesehaq. We Ethiopian did not honor him but the Jamaican. Thank you zehabesha for this historical article.

    Howte Addis
    December 29, 2019 at 11:37 pm

  9. When Abuna Yesehaq was struggled for Ethiopia-winet in 1970s, the Ethiopian student movement in Diaspora in the saneyear was struggled against Ethiopia-winet. The sold out that generation sold Ethiopia. Let this confused generation learn from the story of this Abune.

    Mesey Worku
    December 29, 2019 at 11:52 pm

  10. The hisory of Ethiopian in diaspora was a shameful. I am glad this high priest saved us from our sin- against Ethiopia. Thanks for posting this piece.

    Wolde Pascal
    December 30, 2019 at 12:06 am

  11. Not only this article but also the title below ” From Adwa to Jamaica”, which sounds from the Victory of the battle of Adwa to Jamaica, the land of Marcus Garvey, the father of the Pan African movement. Long live the Ethiopian Orthodox Church !! Long live Ethiopia winet!!

    Marta Lema
    December 30, 2019 at 4:40 am

  12. Let the Ethiopian Orthodox decons & Muslims mufties learn from the story of Abuna Yesehaq. To be a godfather of Bob Marley by itself is a headline.

    Mesfin Engeda
    December 30, 2019 at 4:48 am

  13. Ye Amahara neftegna Debtera, satan worshipers, killed many people, lead many couples into divorce, killings, and not a few talented and educated fellow youngsters subtly and wickedly deluded to take dangerous drungs to go insane.

    How could we prosper with amhara, cancerous people and anti-developement ? Could please help me answering this question . Donot beat around the bush like many of your youtubers.

    Malicious act of Debteras should be permanently removed , since it can still harm our kids, and other innocent people. amhara debteras claim that they got these superstitious tradition from King Solomon and other people cited in the Bible and some handwritten manuscripts.

    I personally believe , some of the scriptures were translated from Arabic and be received it from Egyptians who were wosrhipping idiols and practicing superstition.

    These people gave us so many fake books with false accounts disguised as religious , and mistakenly linked to Christianity.

    The Egyptian pope, residing Ethiopian Orthodox , fled to Cairo during Italian Invasion. Since he was not a genuine shepherd rather a paid one as it is decsribed in John 10:11-16,Matthew 18:10-14 NIV .

    We were offering them a pile of Gold, Ivory and other jewelry and people serving them . Simply saying, we purchased religious service from them for centuries telling us that we are not authorised by God to be autonomous church. Since they were demagogue leaders ; but not genuine Christians even if they were anointed and separated to serve God among the laity.

    Mahibrekidusan, amhara led NGO is working hard to create amhara led hegemenoy in this old country but indisputably poor and filled with gangsters in the state and church.

    In all honesty, We ahve many fake saints and pastors in our church which are not known to the foreigners themselves but brought to our church in an attempt to introduce religious-based colonizations and white ,euro or coptic supremacy in our church.

    For me Catholic church or protestant church at home are not far from these religious politics and these subtle agenda. Catholics have many saints who donot advocate hunmanity, regardless of his or her tribe or nationality, But ethio -catholics still worship them since they were told by thier masters in overseas.
    Conclusion, if you ask me my personal standing, I do not believe in the sainthood of any whitemen coming to my country except for colonization, subjugating the mass to accept colonization, spying africa and other undeclared subtle task. No more considering Gebremenkiskidus as a saint or other white missionary .Youb could call names and nicknamed me “heretic ” menafik or whatever I will stand still and will definitely give me belly laugh like a lion . After all, I am a son of hero and heroine.
    The END, PHD candidate

    downwith Mahibrekidusan ,NGO
    December 30, 2019 at 5:42 am

  14. Once again the greatness of Haile Selassie has manifested in the story of Yesehaq. Who did communist Mengestu or tribalist Meles gave us ?

    After tewelde
    December 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

  15. My wife & I have plan to visit Jamaica. We will definitely visit the Ethiopian Tewagedo Orthodox Church & lay the wreath on Abuna Yesehaq. Happy memorial!!!

    Solomon kebed
    December 30, 2019 at 7:02 am

  16. Maximum Respect to Abune Yeshaq and to the author of this great article Mulugeta for sharing the epic history of our own True Saint!

    Ras Abye
    December 30, 2019 at 8:16 am

  17. Thank you for this beautiful article. Lots of information and so much more about His Hrace. May Ethiopia be proud of him and those in Jamaica and the entire Afrocan diaspora embrace his legacy.

    December 30, 2019 at 8:42 am



    December 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm

  19. Damos Gracias y alabanzas a Dios Todopoderoso por enviar a sus hijos.
    Jah Rastafari 🇪🇹👑♥️💛💚

    Ras Makuto
    December 30, 2019 at 8:54 pm

  20. Through Emperor Haile Selassie1 and the the Ethiopian Tewahido Orthodox Faith, the accepting people of Jamaica were able to achieve their mental and cultural liberation from the heavy legacy of slavery and colonization. Consequently, making the connection with their ancestral homelands in a real way. This article by Mulugeta outlines the practical realities of the work completed by one individual, that was achieved in the ongoing activities to secure the freedom of African people. The AU have declared its Sixth Region as anywhere outside the Continent where there are significant numbers of Africans in a community. It is good when articles like these reveal the substantial work, that so many official organisations are doing, unknown to so many of us. Let us not become discouraged and bias in our views about religion or the pseudo-religions so much in vogue presently.The spiritual needs are as important, or much more important than the material requirements that are barely provided by our leaders and governments. We all, everyone single one of us have the opportunity to achieve our personal spiritual liberation and goals. through the continuation of our ancients faith and traditions. Thank you Abuna Yesehaq, and of course the writer of the article.

    Danijah Yekuno Tafari
    December 30, 2019 at 10:43 pm

  21. Greetings of happiness n love for you Brother Mulugator I love the works you continue doing for our dearly beloved father ( my father) Abuna yesehaq. Abba belonged to all of us he taught me more than I learned in school n more than my living loving parents taught us as you know of my 8 sibling 6 of us have converted to Christian Tewahedo Orthodox because of him. We were blessed to live with him in New York for 24 years of the 47 years he lived in the west ( in Babylon) also was fortunate to traveled many places with him including Ethiopia. I have so much more info n prophecies he spoke to us which I hope to share with you when we meet again. Currently I’m sending this note from merigator Afework home in Texas I came to celebrate his Son baptism the newest addition to his growing family he sends his regards n wishing you health n life to finish your wonderful works on abuna yesehaq life in Babylon.
    I remain as a faithful servant defending this faith of our fathers until iturnity.
    One Love
    Mikael Rutty
    Shepherd of the children

    Mikael Rutty
    December 31, 2019 at 12:09 am

  22. I learned a lot from this article how Ethiopia-winet was spreaded to reach out our sisters & brothers who live in Diaspora.
    ” Ethiopia streached her hands unto the “African defendants live through out the world.

    Hado Yohanes
    December 31, 2019 at 1:44 am

  23. Long live the solitary between the un conqured the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church & The Jamaica Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Abuna Yesehaq gave me an Ethiopian baptismal name,Seyfe Selassie(the sword of Trinity). Every time I think of the meaning it gives me strength. ABBA Yesehaq
    was the real sheapered in Jamaica. As Marcus Garvey said, ” One love, one aim, and one destiny”

    Tomson Tailor
    December 31, 2019 at 2:13 am

  24. What a powerrul and inspiring account on the life and works of one of Africa’s greats- His Grace Abuna YESEHAQ. He has touched many lives including mine. I knew him before I knew my biological father and he has played the role of both my biological father and spiritual father. From the first time I saw him when I was only 7 years old, I knew he was a Holy man. I felt his strong PRESENCE and Graceful aura. I tasted of his Divine Love while growing up in the EOTC in Jamaica. Abba was and is and continues to be Our True Father. Thank you for keeping his legacy alive Mulugeta…your testimonies in this article are real and relevant for us and generations to come. Long live Abuna Yesehaq!

    Fenote Hiwot HaileMikael
    December 31, 2019 at 2:28 am

  25. The title: Abuna Yesehaq the Pan African Archbishop is very fitting for the work Abuna Yesehaq did in the western hemisphere. A lot of people don’t realise the magnitude of work he did despite trials and tribulations. In Jamaica where I was born Abba as he was affectionately called visited us no less than tthrice per year. He established 9 branches of the Ethiopian orthodox church in 9 parishes out of 14 parishes in Jamaica. He established a home for the aged, two schools, a bakery, a tuckshop, inspired many entrepreneurs, ordained many clergymen, baptised thousands of people into the orthodox faith, counselled many, established Ethiopian community in Jamaica, started the Holy Trinity Cathedral (being built in Kingston, Jamaica), taught us amharic and geez, taught us the way of Christ, brought us light, have us a true liberated identity and so much more. He did all this and never complained. Served us humbly. Never lived lavishly or behave better than us… how he lived reminded us of the Christlike life that we read about in the Metsafe Kidus (Holy Bible). He lived with us and was for us. He was the people’s Bishop Bald head and Rastafarian. He was like Moses, like Noah, like Joshua. The world must learn about our prophet and Priest Abuna Yesehaq! His seeds that were planted in the west is grown and bearing good fruits…

    December 31, 2019 at 2:56 am

  26. Abuna Yesehaq was & is an answer of Marcus Harvey & Bob Marley. For years Harvey in his speeches & Bob Marley in his songs were asking a person like Abuna Yesehaq. Yesehaq came in Carbean in 1970 & conquered the islands with teaching of ETOC, the price of Africa.

    Moses Garvey
    December 31, 2019 at 5:57 am

  27. Thank you Abba Yesehaq! For the Life of Christ you delivered to me!
    I Thank Our Lord I heard your voice and hear it now deep in my soul, the Good Shepherd gave his life for the sheep!

    I came in the wake of his life but proudly call him Abba, a true Apostle of Our Lord his work in the face of adversity be a lesson to us all for life.

    Amde Birhan Yen
    December 31, 2019 at 1:53 pm

  28. His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq was one who really touched my life, I had the opportunity to be in his presence for a long time,and since then I’m yet to find someone with such strength and faith,

    Marilyn jeffers
    December 31, 2019 at 3:30 pm

  29. Ethiopians don’t know who Anuna Yesehaq was but to us, the Jamaicans Tewahedo followers, he was our St Tekle Haymanot.
    As St Tekle Haymanot reorganized EOTC in Ethiopia, St Yesehsq did in Jamaica. Thanks zehabesha web page for posted this nice article by Mulugeta.Thanks my sister for let me know this page. I like the name zehabesha. I am British Jamaca Habesha. Abuna Yesehaq baptized me with name Etse Hiwot, meaning plant of life. Who gives better name than this holy name. My parents gave me European name but i changed it when ABBA blessed me with meaningful name. One Tewahedo love to all ABBA daughters & sons.
    Happy Babylon new year

    HIWOT Vids
    January 1, 2020 at 1:23 am

  30. The Jamaican Tewahedo followers please learn from current Ethiopian tribal politics that brought the nation from being the pride of Africa to shame of Africa. Now Ethiopia is a dangerous place for Black people to live in Oromo regions. Look what they did in Shashemene against Rastafarian. RASTA is respected all over the world except in Shashemene. They did disrespect our way of life. Babylon in black mask lives in Ethiopian, the land we fought for repatriation. Shame !!!

    Brown Keljohn
    January 1, 2020 at 5:26 am

  31. All Bob & Reta Marlay children are god sons & daughters of Abuna Yesehaq. Bob & Reta helped Abuna Yesehaq a lot. The Abuna named Reta, Guneta Mariam as he named Bob, Brehan. My question is why these children are not helping the Ethiopian Jamaican Tewahedo Fsith in Jamaica, the only African Church in Island ?

    Drake Stevenson
    January 2, 2020 at 1:02 am

  32. Jamaicans Orthodox, you must tell Peter Joachim, a native GERMANY who has a web page, reggaestory.de. He posted Mulugeta’s article entitled, Abuna Yesehaq
    – The Pan African Archbishop. Joachim avoided the Tewahedo cross & the map of Africa with UNIA flag that Mulugeta used on its front page. He also taken out the theme of the article. He re wrote it so it will fit to his business.
    Please visit his page & write him not to miss with Mulugeta’s article which is excellent as it is. Abuna Yesehaq’s story can’t be distorted for same of business.
    Peace & love

    Sam Tajudin
    January 2, 2020 at 1:32 am

  33. The Ethiopian Orthodox as marched to battle field against the European Colonialists, it has also marched in Caribbean Islands to de- colonized the brainwashed the great- great daughters & sons of en-slaved Africans.The short story of the Abuna Yesehaq by Mulugeta is the witness that testifies to the greatness of the Ethiopian Orthodox Orthodox Tewahed.
    Long live Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo!!!

    Paul Jeffrey
    January 2, 2020 at 5:41 am

  34. I knew Abuna Yesehaq before he became the Abuna. When he came to Jamaica his name was ABBA Layke Mandefero. When he told us his last name meaning Mandefro, whic means, Who dare him & he would say dont mess with me. He used to make us laugh. When he also said ” I am not hear to relax but to work”. Jamaicans did not take him seriously. In few years he proved them wrong.He was not only a preacher but also practical. When he established bakery house & small shop for the community, he fulfilled Garvey’s ” Selif realiance” the pilare of Garvey’s philosophy. ABBA bipitsed me and named me BetreMariam, the scepter of St Marry. I love my name & gave my baptism name to my first daughter. Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo is full of history. Thanks ABBA for sharing Ethiopian history which I passed on to my children. All their names are Ethiopian.
    Mulugeta Haile brought so much memories of ABBA in his short article.
    Love ABBA Layke Mandefro, Abuna Yesehaq.

    Elijah Philmore
    January 3, 2020 at 3:13 am

  35. Abuna Yesehaq’s spiritual daughter & sons who live throughout the world especially in Carebbean, let us make the 15th anniversary next year in much grand. Let us invite Bob & Retta Market’s children to perform in Jamaica stadium.
    The history of Abuna Yesehaq is the history of the Carebbean.
    We should prepare from now. As Mulugeta’s article estates Abba was The Pan African Archbishop & deserves the Pan African salutes.
    Peace, love & respect!!!

    Greenland F. Lee
    January 3, 2020 at 3:29 am

  36. I am one of godsons of Abuna Yesehaq who baptized me in Basseterre, St Kitts in 1989. He named me Yared. It was the st Yared day that I was baptized. I am so happy to learn my brothers & sisters in Jamaica are still remembering the beloved Abuna Yesehaq. Next year I will celebrate his 15th anniversary with you guys in Kingston. I will bring my drum. Abuna Yesehaq’s spirit lives in St Kitty.

    Aaron Yoseyas
    January 3, 2020 at 7:26 am

  37. Abuna Yesehaq was preaching the God of Ethiopia that helped Ethiopians to defeat the colonizers. After ABBA I distance my self from the church because nobody could fit his shoe. The entire Caribbean missed the teaching of Abuna Yesehaq. Jamaicans keep up with good works.

    Howell Madk
    January 4, 2020 at 5:46 am

  38. In Germany language


    Am Sonntag den 29.12.2019 werden in Kingston die Feierlichkeiten zum 14. Jahresgedächtnis zum Tod von Abuna Yesehaq abgehalten, der Mann der Bob Marley im Sinne der Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church mit dem Namen Berhan Selassie getauft und nach seinem Tode den Trauergottesdienst in der Holy Trinity Cathedral und im Nationalstadion von Kingston abgehalten hat.
    Unser äthiopischer Freund Mulugeta Haile hat ein paar Gedanken aus seinem noch unveröffentlichten Buch über den Pan African Archbishop zusammengefasst.
    Mehr dazu unter / More at (English Version!): http://www.reggaestory.de/image/stories/abuna-yesehaq-2019-12-29/abuna-yesehaq-14th-memory.pdf

    Enjoy the reading!

    And don´t forget to vote in the Riddim Leserpoll for the best website below point 19 for reggaestory.de.
    Thank you very much!! You must not fill all the questions in the form. Only what you want.
    Voting here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffmj_rFxj5m3ZVF2_hg2x1sdbeSgislS0WCZ8cazfURZi7fQ/viewform

    Mit besten Grüßen
    With best regards

    Becker Taverna
    January 4, 2020 at 5:59 am

  39. I am so happy to read the shore story of the great Abuna Yesehaq. However why the Jamaican Orthodox Tewahedo followers rembebers his death every year instead his birthday. In my opinion his birthday is more important than his demise.
    One love!!!

    Stephen Ben
    January 4, 2020 at 6:18 am

  40. I can’t believe to read Abba’s history. Oh my good father Abba. Thank you so so so much Mulugeta. Thank you my brothers & sisters of Jamaicans for keeping the legacy of our beloved father Abuna Yesehaq. Abba was special person. I am in Hamilton, Bermuda. If you guys in Kingston would like to erect a statue of Abba in the church or anywhere else,I can help. I am an artist who specialized in scluptu work. My Ethiopian name is Yohannes.
    Let the spirit of Abba brings us close together. Thans Steven for text me zehabesha link. One love !!

    John Andrew
    January 5, 2020 at 3:12 am

  41. I agreed with idea of Greenlnd having a concert for Abuna Yesehaq. The concert should be for Abba’s birthday. I also agreed with Stephen, not remembering the date of death but life.
    Let get together to celebrate the birthday of our great shepherd.
    Let us play the record of Ras Malkot who recorded song for Abba.

    Elliott Leid
    January 5, 2020 at 3:34 am

  42. Love ABBA Yesehaq, love this piece of history, love Ethiopian Tewahedo Church, and love this link, zehabesha. But can anyone explain z meaning of zehabesha. I know Habesha people. But I dont know when “ze” at front. Give thanks Emperor Haile Selassie for selected Abuna Yesehaq for us who are great-great daughters & sons of enslaved Africans.

    Bobby Black
    January 5, 2020 at 3:54 am

  43. Aba Layke Mandefro or Abuna Yesehaq in South Africa was not only a preacher of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faith but also a freedom fighter against the Apartheid regime. Thanks Mulugeta for mentioned Abba’s role during the 20th anniversary of the Sharpevile massacre. In Transvaal at the town of Sharpeville When the Apartheid police men tried to stop Abba from his praying, he refused and kept blessing the mass grave and sparkled water. Abba was a fearless priest.
    Next Year, I will defiantly come to Jamaica to testify for our comrade priest. I thank Mulugeta once again for mentioned that Nelson Mandela was invited Abba to his house. Mandela told Abba that he read his book on the system of Apartheid that it was against the teaching of Christ.
    God bless Mulugeta. I am happy to read this article.

    Enzokuhle Junior
    January 6, 2020 at 3:31 am

  44. The new generation of Ethiopians who live in South Africa don’t know anything about Abuna Yesehaq what contribution did he make in the struggle of Apartheid. Ethiopians know who trained Nelson Mandela in Ethiopia but don’t know Abba who
    fought apartheid in South Africa. Hope Mulugeta’s book when it publish will enlighten this generation.

    Abba used to tell us that the grand farther of Desmond Tutu, Zelilo, was a preacher of the Abyssinia Baptist Church in South Africa. He also told us that the Ethiopia Church came to South Africa in the late 1700. This makes it the first Ethiopia Church was established outside Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Christianity so unique and is a pride of Africa.

    Imaka Bandile
    January 6, 2020 at 4:32 am


    Douglas Mick
    January 6, 2020 at 4:47 am


    Douglas Mick
    January 6, 2020 at 4:48 am

  47. I am grerting you,my beloved children of Abuna Yesehaq in Amharic language, Tenasteleng. I am proud of you, Jamaicans for Keeping Abuna Yesehaq’s legacy. I will try my best to remember ABBA’s achievements here in South Africa. He did incredible works during the era of Apartheid. We should not forget what he did for us at a time when we were considered ” non human”. ABBA was an energetic priest. Today is Gena, the true birth day of Eyesus kratos. Yesterday night I spent at Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jhonsberg. Melkam Gena

    Mpho Luthan
    January 7, 2020 at 12:22 am

  48. Aba was advanced for his time according to his peers . In 1950, almost 70 years ago ORBIS the newly formed company rented in office at Menelik square. The company was called Orbis Trading & Technical Center . In 1950, industrial and commercial vehicles, agricultural and industrial machinery were hardly in demand. The number of cars in Addis Ababa was just a few thousands and a new company dealing with these products seemed an ill-advised business, many say 70 years later it still is .

    POBox: 321
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    January 7, 2020 at 7:07 am

  49. ዉይ ዉይ ሞቱ?

    ዋይ ዋይዋይ ዋይ
    ዋይ ዋይዋይ ዋይ

    ዋይ ቅዱስ አባታችን ሞቱ
    እኔን ሙትት ያርገኝ
    አባትዬዬዬ እዚያዉ ጠብቁኝ እስክንገናኝ

    ሞት አይፈሬ አሿፊ
    January 7, 2020 at 11:27 am

  50. It is an intersting story. I am also intersting to visit Abna Yesaq’s church. I would like to have countactes in Jamaica. Can any body who is a mebere of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church text me a telphon number on my below e mail address

    sinafk13@ Gmail. com
    Thank you much in advance

    senafejesh Getachew
    January 8, 2020 at 5:09 am

  51. I am so pleased to read this historical article. Please the Jamaicans
    Orthodox in faith help me in updating me more about this holy man.
    As a native Ethiopian Orthodox follower I am so proud in Abuna Yesehaq’s colossal work.
    Hope one day to visit Jamaica.

    Henok Tades
    January 8, 2020 at 5:22 am

  52. The hisory of Abuna Yesehaq in Spanish
    Enviado por Emperor Haile Selassie I en 1970 a Jamaica para enseñar los valores centrales de etiopía a los Rastafari.
    Dio nombres etíopes a cientos de rastas, incluido Bob Marley, Rita Marlay y sus hijos.
    Uno de sus deseos que impresionó a muchos fue, pedir ser enterrado en Jamaica en vez de Etiopía.

    Henry Darke
    January 9, 2020 at 3:28 am

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