|Abuna Ammanuel Ascento Foxe|
|Abuna Ammanuel Ascento Foxe|
A dedicated servant to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I
JAH Guide and Protect our Abuna as he journeys to Your Kingdom to lead
worship service with Your Children You have chosen. Bless! ~ Malchijah
Archbishop Ammanuel Foxe was a Rastafarian activist for more than fifty years,
steering Rastafarian developments and advancements globally. During that time he
served as the International President for the Imperial Ethiopian World Federation (I.E.
W.F.), Inc, formerly known as the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF), and the Abuna
(Archbishop) of the Church of Haile Selassie I, a global institution.
Abuna Ammanuel Foxe, (affectionately known as ‘Abuna’) was instrumental in the
establishment of an international body of The Church of Haile Selassie I with
membership in Jamaica, USA, Barbados, England, and Trinidad. In the Mother Church
(Jamaica) being recognized as a religious institution through the passage of the Church
of Haile Selassie I (Incorporation and Vesting) Act, 2013, after seventeen years of
debates in the Jamaican parliament to pass the bill.
A visionary and a man commissioned by both Emperor Haile Selassie I and his son King
Ahma Selassie I of Ethiopia to organize the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica and the
western hemisphere towards the liberation of Ethiopia from Communist ideals and the
restoration of the Davidic Monarchy and Dynasty of Emperor Haile Selassie I, Abuna
Foxe has always championed the involvement of Rastafarians in the political process.
Other accomplishments in this area include; the organizing of two political campaigns
for Rastafarians in Jamaica to contest a general election, instituting a Rastafarian
Prison Ministry whereby Priests and Levites of The Church of Haile Selassie I visits,
worships with and stand up for the religious rights of Rastafarians incarcerated in
Jamaica’s prisons and Rastafarians incarcerated in the prisons of the State of New York,
where he was a Rastafarian Chaplain for nearly twenty years. In addition he was able to
obtain charitable status for the Church of Haile Selassie I in England, 2004.
Amongst his other notable achievements were establishing the Ahma Selassie I Basic
School, annual health fairs and a community health clinic in downtown Kingston,
He was also identified by the Crown Council of Ethiopia (a monarchy in exile) as a
member of the Council responsible for communication and liaison of Rastafarian
issues to the Council. He was instrumental in ensuring that an official Jamaican
government State Visit was given to Prince Ermias Haile Selassie I on April 21 2016,
grandson of Emperor Haile I and President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia (monarchy
In exile), on the commemoration of the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of Emperor Haile
Selassie I, visit to Jamaica on April 21, 1966.
Throughout the entire period of the Abuna’s public life, he acted with integrity as a
devoted and selfless advocate in pursuance of political and religious representation for
Rastafarians and grassroots people internationally.
For his lifelong dedication and service to the people of Ethiopia, the Abuna was
awarded Commander of the Imperial Order of the Star of Ethiopia - one of the highest
decorations given by the Crown of Ethiopia.
We are comforted in knowing that the Abuna fulfilled his duties to the Rastafarian and
grassroots people, and most importantly to his commitment and faith in the Almighty
God Emperor Haile Selassie I.
We are assured that history shall preserve his name and accomplishments.
May Jah grant him a place of rest in his abode continually! Amen! Amen! Amen!
Rise in Power Abuna Ammanuel Ascento Foxe!
(April 23, 1891 – October 13, 1970)
|DID YOU KNOW...His Eminence Abuna Basilios (April 23, 1891 – October 13, 1970) was the first
Ethiopian born Archbishop or Abuna, and later the first Patriarch, of the Ethiopian Orthodox
Church.During the Italian invasion, Ichege Gebre Giyorgis(Abuna Basilios) accompanied
Emperor Haile Selassie the 1st. and the Ethiopian troops to the Battle of Maychew; following the
defeat in that battle the Ichege accompanied the Emperor back to Addis Ababa and participated
in the decision of the Emperor to go into exile and present Ethiopia's case to the League of
Nations....Glory be to God Who is Glorified in His Saints
Source: Rastafari TV Network
(April 23, 1891 – October 13, 1970)
A Martyr of the Millenium
A Short life history of martyrbishop Abune Petros who became martyr on the 29th of July 1936,
in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in the struggle against colonialism and oppression.
Fesseha Mekuria and Sven Rubenson (Lund, Sweden)
Abune Petros was born in 1892 in a farmer family in the city of Fiche, which is situated north of
Addis Ababa. He got the baptismal name Hailemariam that means power of Maria. As the custom
of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) tradition he got a special bishop name, that is PETROS
with the Ethiopian title for a bishop which is ABUNE. As a young boy Abune Petros was known
as clever, helpful and humble disciple in the church and city of Fiche. He chose early to study the
EOC diakon and priest education.
At the age of 24 he took the EOC oath and became a monk. He grew up and became a principled
and well-known teacher around the monasteries in Fiche and Wolamo areas. In 1918 he was
assigned by the EOC as the teacher and priest for the Debre-Menkrat monastery church in the
region of Wolamo. Abune Petros continued to teach there when in 1924 he was assigned as the
main teacher for the well-known island monastery-church of Mary, which is situated inside Lake
Zewai in southern part of Ethiopia. He was well known for his teaching and preaching to the
people around the region to seek first the kingdom of God: “ To put on a heart of compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “ (Colossians 3:12) His teachings and preaching
were very popular and insightful to the people in the area and the disciples he teaches in the
Monastery. In 1928 in connection with the nomination of Ethiopian bishops in the St. Marks
Monastery in Alexandria, he was nominated to one of four bishops of Ethiopia, with the title and
name ABUNE PETROS.
Abune Petros was nominated as bishop of the central and eastern part of Ethiopia. Half of
his time he stayed in the City of Dessie and the surrounding monasteries, while the rest of his
time he spent visiting and teaching in the monasteries around the Wereilu region. To help him
in the administration of the churches and monasteries in the two regions, two priests were
assigned to him one from each region. He continued to preach the gospel and teach in the
churches. He was liked by many for his teachings and exhortation to stand-up for the belief, the
truth and follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ: “ For to you it has been granted for Christ’
s sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29). As we read
further we will see that Abune Petros exemplified this with his life.
When Italy with the leadership of fascist Mussolini’s army invaded Ethiopia in 1932,
Abune Petros followed with Emperor Haile Selassie and the Ethiopian defence forces to the
northern front. He helped the wounded, prayed and consecrated the dead and preached the
Gospel. During that time he saw the undiscerning terror and violence of the invading army: He
saw how the invading army with the help of nerve gas and technologically advanced weaponry
burned down the forest and villages with innocent civilians and at last won the war at Maichew.
The patriots retreated and decided to continue guerrilla warfare against the fascist army.
Abune Petros, with all the impressions he got from the war and the burned villages of civilians,
returned safely and took refuge in the well-known monastery church of Debre Libanos. In the
monastery he urged the priests and monks to fast. He himself started to fast and pray for the
mercy of God to the people of Ethiopia and prepared himself for the big challenge that is waiting
ahead for him: “My earnest expectation and hope, is that I will not be put to shame in anything,
but my lord Jesus Christ will even now as always be exalted in my body, whether by life or by
During these difficult times he started to question in his preaching: “How a Christian
country as Italy could undertake such a hideous terror of occupation on another peaceful
Christian country that is Ethiopia.” For him all Christians were brother and sister pilgrims
helping each other in this world on the way to meet God in Heaven. With that he began his
crusade against the invading army’s terror and killing machinery. He went further and
condemned all the violent actions and killings of civilians by the invading army. The fascist army
was by then committing undiscerning violent actions against innocent civilians because they had
suspicion that the people are helping the patriots who were growing in both strength and
manpower. During these times there were some EOC priests who out of fear of the terror of the
army accepted the Italian leadership in Addis Ababa.
Through these priests the fascist army sent letters to win the support of the popular and
respected bishop Abune Petros to its camp, to accept the powerful army of Italy as government
and stop with his preaching against the violence of the army on civilians and the patriots. If he
did this they promised him the best house quarters and a peaceful life in Addis Ababa. Abune
Petros saw these letters as an incitement to commit sin against God, his Christian belief and
consciousness. With that he refused to accept the offer and stayed in fasting and prayer in the
monastery of Debre-Libanos. “Choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God
than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:25).
The resistance against the encroachment and violence of the invading army kept on
growing like wild fire over the whole of Ethiopia. The patriots began to win battles at different
fronts. Abune Petros continued his teachings and preaching to the people to stand-up for their
belief and conviction and that God would visit the downtrodden people of Ethiopia soon. He
went on further and preached against Italy’s right to occupy Ethiopia with terror and violence.
He exhorted the people not to be afraid of the terror and violence from the occupying army. “ I
say to you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more
that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the one who has the power to kill the
body and after that has the authority to cast into hell; yes I tell you fear Him.” (Luke 12:4-5).
The Italian authorities in Addis Ababa who saw and heard him preach wanted by all
means to stop Abune Petros from preaching and inciting people to resistance. However, since he
was a very popular and respected bishop, many in the Italian authorities would rather win his
support to accept the Italian authority in Ethiopia than imprisoning or killing him. In the month
of July 1936, the patriots planned and executed an attack on Addis Ababa. During that time one
of the days Abune Petros clothed with his bishop garment and the ever-present hand cross
rapped in a small blue scarlet cloth went into the capital city and began to preach to the people
who were lamenting in the grips of the invading army. The soldiers were given order to arrest
the Abune and bring him to court for treason against the Italian occupation. While he was in
prison waiting for court appearance, both the priests in the city and the officers of Italy tried to
convince him to accept the Italian occupation. And finally gave him the following ultimatum: To
stop preaching against the occupying army’s violence and terror against civilians and the
patriots, accept the Italian authorities in Addis Ababa and finally condemn the patriots as
bandits. Otherwise, he was told that he will lose his life.
Abune Petros refused to comply to the ultimatum set by his tormentors and through the (Italian)
interpreter gave the following answer to the interrogating officers of the invading army: “The cry
of my country men who died due to your nerve-gas and terror machinery will never allow my
conscious to accept your ultimatum. How can I see my God if I give a blind eye to such a crime.”
Listen to me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is my law, do not fear the
reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them like garment
…….”(Isaiah 51:7-8). “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthews 5:10).
After this a quickly assembled court sentenced Abune Petros to death. The news of the
death sentence on the popular bishop of Ethiopia spread over the whole country. People began
coming to Addis to say farewell of their beloved bishop who stood-up for the righteous cause
which God have called him, for the right of the people of Ethiopia to freedom and independence
and against the terror and violence of the invading army. All this from the pulpit of a church and
in the presence of a deadly ultimatum upon his head. Due to his popularity the fascist army was
afraid of riot and attempts by the patriots to free him from prison, and decided that the
execution of the death penalty should be done as soon as possible.
He was taken to his execution place where many people and the fascist army officers and
generals were gathered, and were told to say his last speech. We cite the Ethiopian Orthodox
church newspaper Vol. 1, No. 8.9.10, 1945 for the account: “ When Abune Petros came to the
place execution and was given to say his last words, he took his hand cross and removed the
blue cloth that was rapped around it and blessed the people at the four corners of the world and
said the following last words: “My country men do not believe the fascists if they tell you that the
patriots are bandits, the patriots are people who yearn for freedom from the terrors of fascism.
Bandits are the soldiers who are standing in front of me and you, who come from afar, terrorise
and violently occupy a weak and peaceful country: our Ethiopia. May God give the people of
Ethiopia the strength to resist and never bow down to the fascist army and its violence. May the
Ethiopian earth never accept the invading army’s rule.” After that a swarm of bullets from the
execution platoon pierced and killed our beloved bishop Abune Petros.
The fascist army wanted by any means to cover up the crime they did against Abune
Petros and Ethiopia by forbidding everybody and all writings about his execution. Because of his
popularity both inside and outside of Ethiopia they thought it might injure their policy of
occupying Ethiopia due to the domestic and international opinion that grew against this act.
However hard they tried to stop the publicity, the example of Abune Petros shines in all people
who love the truth unto this day. Above all, the fascist army lost all credibility from the domestic
opinion, many found courage after this to leave the occupying army’s stronghold in the capital
city to join the patriots and fight for independence. The patriotic resistance grew more in
strength and lead to a sooner freedom of the country from the fascist occupation. The popular
Ethiopian Poet-Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin has illustrated the last days of Abune Petros life
by a theatre play called: “Petros at that Hour”.
A statue of Abune Petros was raised in the capital city Addis Ababa 10 years after his
death, as a reminder to coming generations of: his unwavering stand for the truth, his unbending
courage to stand up against every form of violence against humanity, his integrity and
commitment not to give in for short term gain or threat. Above all his unwavering conviction and
belief that we all will stand up one day and answer to our deeds in this life before God.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Sweden would like to thank the Church of Sweden. In
particular bishop Jonas Jonson of the Strangnas Diocese, for all the help it got and the
remembrance of our martyr bishop Abune Petros as one of the Martyrs of
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