September 14, 2011

STEVEN Golding, Son of Jamaican Prime Minister

(Jamaica Observer):- He is Gabre Selassie, having been renamed following baptism at the Saint Gabriel Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Gondar, Ethiopia on May 15. Gondar was the political center for Ethiopia for a number of centuries. "My new name is Gabre-Selassie," he told the Sunday Observer, adding that it means servant of the trinity. The baptism, Golding explained, occurred while on a month-long tour of the African continent which also took him to Kenya and Tanzania.

"I have long been a friend of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Particularly because it's an African church that came to us not through colonisation, not through slavery, not through racial oppression, but an African King sent that church here for us as Jamaicans to have a better understanding of that aspect of his culture because we have been raising his name to such high standards the world over.
"Remember, y'know, Haile Selassie came here to meet the Jamaicans whom he had heard so much about. We gave his name to the world, we gave that Ethiopian flag to the world, as I like to tell my Ethiopian friends. A lot of times people see the Ethiopian colours, they say reggae, before they realise these are colours the Ethiopian country has been using for four [to] five thousands years before there was any reggae, right."
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of the oldest churches in the world, was introduced to Jamaica by Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1970, in the process of strengthening the bond between Jamaica and Ethiopia.
"So the fact that he (Haile Selassie) sent that church here, something that is wholly African in terms of culture, and from the fact that as the children of oppressed Africans or enslaved Africans, we were forced-fed an (alien) religion for so many years, some of us can't get away from it now. Some of us still have the blue-eyed, blonde hair Jesus hanging on the wall in our house," said Golding, the outspoken president of the Kingston Division of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) since 2008, after a bitter fallout with the New York chapter.
The UNIA was founded by the late Marcus Garvey, a publisher who promoted black nationalist ideals. He was the first person accorded national hero status by Jamaica.
"I myself was raised as a Christian. And in coming into the fullness of myself as an African and my identity as a black man in this world, it kind of hard to reject those things that have been instilled from birth and through family values and so forth. So with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church I didn't find a compromise. I found the perfect match. A Christian background, and here now a Christian church older than the Catholic Church that we praise so much, older than the Anglican church that came to us through England. Founded by the Ethiopian monarchy because the queen's (of Sheba) finance minister was baptised by one of the Apostles. And so because Ethiopia was so isolated from the rest of the oppressive colonialist world that it turned into for a number centuries, they developed a Christianity that was their own," he said. For that reason, Golding said he now has to reject certain religious ideas. "...My family is Seventh-day Adventist. I have to reject that because mi nuh agree with Mr Miller who is the founder of that (denomination) and certain things weh mi see him do. And the fact that some of these people who found these (denominations) were slave holders themselves. The Anglican Church, the Catholic Church, they cannot deny that they dealt in slavery. And to me that is the biggest hypocrisy. "en asked how his parents felt about his Afrocentricity, the 35-year-old Golding gave a rather candid respone.
"Well, my mother's paternal grandmother always spoke of being an Ashanti. And I believe there is some Maroon heritage there, if there is such a thing we can call Maroon heritage. So she was always grounded in who she is as a black woman. My father is supportive of whatever my choices are. And people must understand this about him, y'know. He is a black man, 100 per cent, all the way through, and he is not in any confusion as to who he is. He knows the plight of the black man because he suffered from it too.
"But he understands, I suppose like any good politician, that race is funny in politics and sometimes it isolate you. Consider Barack Abama in the United States. He is the first black president, but he cannot just be a president for black people.
He continued: "I am bold because I am not restricted by politics. A lot of people asked me why I am not in that type of politics. I believe in the philosophy and the blackprint that Marcus Garvey put forward. And I believe that in accepting it and working to see it through to fulfilment, will put us as a country in a better place. But I am not naive enough to say that we don't have problems as a race anymore. And anybody who dare say that is being naive."


Anonymous said...


Please translate it to Amharic

This religion was not given to us by colonialists !!!!!

Anonymous said...

unfortunately we also hang the blue-eyed, blond-hair, christ on our wall as well.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add some facts on Steven Golding, about Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica.
Abuna Yesehaq - Father Isaac in English - was invested with the title of Archbishop of the Western Hemisphere and South Africa in 1979. He was originally appointed by the Emperor Haile Selassie and was sent to the Americas in 1962 to tend to Ethiopians principally in the United States and Jamaica.

The Ethiopian Church, once closely tied to the Coptic Church, is one of Christianity's oldest branches. It spread from Alexandria, Egypt, in the fourth century and was linked to the Coptic Church in Egypt until the late 1950's, when it started using Geez, an ancient Ethiopian language, instead of Coptic in its liturgy.

Abuna Yesehaq, whose original name was Laike Mandefro, was born in Adwa, Ethiopia, in 1933. His parents were Ethiopian Orthodox. He attended liturgical schools in Ethiopia and was ordained a deacon and priest there. He was one of the young clerics taken to be tutored personally by Haile Selassie, the head of state and titular head of the church.

Coming west, he first went to Buffalo and later to New York City to continue his divinity studies, and received advanced degrees in religious education and theology from New York Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Appointed the church's administrator of the Western Hemisphere, he went to Jamaica in 1970 to establish the church there. He was credited with forming more than 70 congregations, with more than 300,000 members, many in the Caribbean.

The overthrow and assassination of Haile Selassie in the 1970's and the years of political turmoil that followed buffeted Ethiopian Orthodoxy as well. It reached Abuna Yesehaq directly in the early 1990's, when he declared the Western Hemisphere branch independent of Addis Ababa rather than accept the pre-eminence of a new patriarch, Abuna Paulos.

In the dispute over the authority of the two prelates, adherents of Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq clung to their own interpretation of canon law and continued to follow him instead of the patriarch in Addis Ababa.

May his blessing and prayer be with us!!!

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