“Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.” Job 34:12
On a letter dated 06/07/2016 and entitled ‘Stop the Unwelcome and Unfortunate Political Drama at Sealite Mihret Kidist Mariam Cathedral of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta’, we the concerned members of the church shared our concerns about the issues that are impacting our church to all our fellow Ethiopians. These concerns emanated from the continues and unfortunate attempts by certain members of the administrative Board of our church who are directly coordinating with the dictatorship in Ethiopia. The Board has now continued to make decisions against the rules of the church while also disregarding the laws that govern administrative issues of the church that are clearly indicated in the Fitha Negest and Kale Awadis of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church.
Sealite Mihret Kidist Mariam Cathedral of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in Metro Atlanta area and has been a holy place whereby all Ethiopians regardless of their background and upbringing receive the words of the Holy Bible, pray to and praise the almighty God in unison. Since about three years ago however, the atmospheres of love and unity in Sealite Mihret suddenly changed when the board hired a young and charismatic monk, named Aba Haile Michael, who directly came from the Middle East as a new administrator of the church. Unfortunately, since then, the love and unity within the members of our church has deteriorated. This new administrator directly challenged the church members by openly advocating and calling for the church to abandon the Holy Synod in exile and start to work with the illegal one in Ethiopia. Moreover, Aba Haile Michael branded our Holy Father, Abune Yaekob and all our fathers in the holy synod in exile, by labelling them the word, tehadso, which is extremely saddening. Few months ago, this new administrator finally resigned by saying that he was not able to continue his work in the church due to the conflicts he has with our holy father, Abune Yaekob and the holy synod in exile. This however, was a coordinated ploy with some of the board members who now used his resignation as a pretext or sad rational to come up with other name callings that further target our Holy Synod and Abune Yaekob.
What Happened Now?
The attempts by the board to take over the church, to disassociate our church from its ties with the Holy Synod in exile and to act on their interest to align with the dictatorial regime and the illegal Synod in Ethiopia have now become apparent. This Board, which is led by Mr. Abate Zewde and other individuals who have been playing a very unfortunate role in this matter such as Mr. Ayele Gebru, Ato Theodros Haile Giorgis and Ato Shiferaw Abera, has now unlawfully decided as well as acted to dismiss Abune Yaekob’s leadership role in our church. This decision is made contrary to the laws that govern the church, which clearly indicates that our holy father, Abune Yaekob is the spiritual leader of the church and his leadership of our church can only be revoked by the decision that could come from our Holy Synod. As a result, firstly we demand that the Board immediately suspend the decision that it illegally made to dismiss our Holy Father Abune Yaekob’s relationship with the church and his spiritual children. Secondly, we demand that the Board summon an emergency meeting of all the members of the church. It is known that this Board has been refusing to call for a meeting of all members of the church for unknown reasons. Thirdly, we also demand that the Board stop denigrating the respect we all Ethiopians share for Our Holy Synod in exile in general and our Holy Father Abune Yaekob in particular.
With High Regards,
We the Concerned Members of Sealite Mihret Kidist Mariam Church in Atlanta.