Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church from 1992 to 2012.
He went to the US to study at the St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and later joined the doctoral program at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
He received the Nansen Medal by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for his peace efforts and humanitarian work.
His family was long associated with the Abba Garima Monastery near the town of Adwa in the Tigray Province.
He was a leader of the church like Pope John Paul II.