Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ethiopia - Why is our pope praying for Beyonce's second coming?

By Abebe Gelaw

October 24, 2007

It is unusual for a Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to appeal for the second coming of a female R & B superstar whose messages have no spiritual content other than promoting the temptations and sins of our time that he condemns in his daily sermons. A short list of Beyonce Knowles' song titles are enough to reveal the fact that her songs contain no trace of gospel messages or praises to the Almighty. Crazy in Love, Naughty Girl, Get Me Bodied, Suga Mama, Beautiful Liar and The Last Great Seduction are a few among the many songs that have made Beyonce so popular around the world.

When Beyonce was in Addis Ababa last week for the so-called millennium celebration to entertain the rich in poverty stricken city, she was obviously shocked to get a fan from an unexpected corner. No wonder!

The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Abune Paulos, not only gave her a gift but also requested her to come again to Ethiopia to spread her message. Any devout Christian may consider the story itself a fictitious blasphemy but he did it on the record in front of local and international media.

Soon after the October 20, 2007 gig local and international media churned out hysterical stories about the "great" spectacle at the 20 million dollar "millennium concert hall" financed by none other than the billionaire tycoon Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi. Mind you, he is also a sponsor of a long list of famous singers lined up to sing and dance in Ethiopia to the rich at a time when a slice of bread has become a luxury for the depressed and hungry masses. One of the reasons why the poorest of the poor who survive begging food and pennies have been cleared from the streets of Addis and dumped in concentrations camps outside the capital was to save the eyes of VIP foreigners from confronting the ugly reality that can unveil the untold suffering of ordinary Ethiopians in their own country.

Our pope was seen nowhere to defend the poor from being detained and deported for being poor and dispossessed. He has never begged the tyrant to have mercy on them and seek a lasting solution rather that removing them from the sight of the famous and the rich who are making every effort to make hellish Ethiopia into a paradise for the few. We have never heard him protesting killings, mass detentions, and crimes against humanity being committed by the regime in power that was responsible for his controversial political appointment.

Among the many stories on the event that were distributed across the world by news agencies, one came from the the state run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) with a colour photo of our patriarch with Beyonce Knowles surrounded by bemused priests and Debteras. The picture also shows that she was standing beneath an emblazoned umbrella as if she was carrying the Holy Covenant (Tabot).

According to ENA's story, headlined "Beyonce considers Ethiopia as second home", the R & B superstar said she would visit Ethiopia again. "After attending a congregation held at the Trinity Cathedral here on Sunday, Beyonce told the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch, Abune Paulos that she would pay visit to Ethiopia, as she considers Ethiopia as her second home. She made the decision to visit Ethiopia again at the request of Abune Paulos," ENA reported.

It was good that she went to see his Holiness Abune Paulos. The underlying question is why he went out of his spiritual way to invite a pop idol to come again while he is fully aware of the controversies surrounding the millennium celebrations which focuses more on creating a false image of glamour in oppressed Ethiopia by pushing poor citizens under the carpet. Has he expected her to help him spread the gospel with her lustrous songs and dances? I hope not.

Church and state have hardly separated in Ethiopia history. It may be the wish of the ruling elite to see tempting Beyonce again. Nevertheless, it appears that the majority of Ethiopians who have been suffering in their own land have neither the money nor the taste to watch her and a horde of other reggae, raga, hip hop, R & B, heavy metal or rap singers. The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church should not have underestimated the backlash of mixing spiritual and carnal matters. That may be the reason why the majority of the laity would be abhorred to see their patriarch joining the Beyonce Knowles' fan club.

Followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church expect His Holiness Abune Paulos to pray for the Second Coming of Christ our Redeemer, which is obviously Contrary to that, the second coming of Beyonce can only make our mortal sins and temptations worse dancing to her seductive tunes. Given these glaring facts, his spiritual commitment as well as his command of English to properly understand what her messages are all about, the reason why His Holiness appealed for her second coming to Ethiopia remains a mystery at a time when the nation was expecting him to renounce the vanity and hypocrisy of the ruling elites which are dancing and singing while the nation is starved and gravely sick.

Of all the people in the world, why has he invited the pop idol to come again? It would be much appreciated, as citizens have a legitimate right to ask questions and seek answers from public figures, if his holiness give us some clarifications about his expectations during the second coming of the pop idol who is worshipped in many parts of the world by her devoted fans more seriously than God, the creator and master of the universe.

May God give us a spiritual father who defends the poor, the oppressed and the dispossessed! Amen!

SOURCE(WITH YOUTUBE Video at story's end):


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