is from the evangelical Christian movement
in the United States of America, that
Christafari entered the arena.
their demo "Tribal Warning", they
have released several albums and are touring
the continents a lot. They've played at the
inauguration party for Bill Clinton ,
former president of the United States.
major controversy followed them in the mid
1990's, when Christafari joined the
"Reggae Sunsplash Tour" and handed
out books with their message to fellow
artists like Buju Banton .
It wasn't really received that well by
Banton, who had just then turned to
Rastafari after being into the dancehall
scene, where pornography and violence seem
to run things. The result was Christafari's
Mark Mohr being threatened with
a knife by Banton, taking Rastafarian Elders
to calm down the situation.
event has been covered widely in the
Christian press where it was described like
a clash between missionaries and pagans.
Banton, one of Jamaica’s biggest artists,
attacked Mohr in a Cleveland hotel lobby.
Banton punched Mohr in the neck, then
slashed at him with a knife. Police were
called in, but Mohr didn’t press charges.
“I felt the Lord leading on my heart that
I could not excpect (Banton) to understand
the God of forgiveness and grace if I did
not demonstrate that myself.”
the hostility from the Rastafari community
and uncertainty among some Christians, Mohr
and Christafari stand undaunted”
is also an official statement by
Christafari. Here it is:
the completion of my first booklet titled
Rastafari and the Bible (An Eschatological
Study of the Second Coming), we,
(Christafari) began making my writings
available at our shows in booklet form. It
was after we joined the 46 city Reggae
Sunsplash Tour that I faced an overwhelming
amount of persecution for my beliefs and
writings. After all of the other artists on
the tour read my booklet the verbal abuse
and spiritual attacks began. In fact, the
headlining artist on the tour Buju Banton,
(then the World’s most famous Dancehall
DJ) even physically attacked me attempting
to stab me with a knife in the lobby of our
Cleveland hotel on the Fourth of July.
such persecution, Christafari remained on
the rest of the tour and reconciled with the
rest of the performers by the last show.
the threats on myself have not changed. The
gospel is still an offense to many. I have
been called “Satan”, the
“Antichrist” and a “wolf in sheep’s
clothing” for my belief system. My writing
has literally been quoted as “the
fulfillment of Rastafarian prophecies” by
Rasta Elders. Just like the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, it is a stumbling block, will be
considered foolish and will continue to be
an offense to many.
illustration of the difficult relationship
between (evangelical) Christianity and
Rastafari, or an unfortunate incident that
could have been prevented?
certain is that although it is mentioned how
Rastafarians themselves tried to stop Buju
and reconciliation was even practiced, a
conclusion from it is not drawn. All over
you can see how Rastafari is being presented
as the enemy in a war against Christianity
that time I saw less and less of Christafari
in the reggae community, and more and more
of them within the Christian world. That’s
you check their agenda, the awards they win
and the reviews they get, 95% of it is
inside the Christian world. Churches,
Christian awards, Christian press.
few years later they would even no longer
see themselves as focusing on Rastafari
“specifically” anymore, although that
did not lead them to change the way they
communicate and present themselves.
where this communication and presentation
itself is presented to the Christians as a
way to “missionizing the Rasta’s”.
I’m running ahead of myself.
have read a book similar as the one that was
handed out to Buju Banton that
day. It’s called "Christ and Tafari
by the same writer.
contains several passages in which the
writer tries to prove why Selassie cannot be
God. The way this is done is party by
expressing, with a kind of humor that can
not be appreciated by everyone, that Haile
a sinner and mortal (just like we all). One
chapter, referring to what is described as
His Majesty’s death has the title “The
Conquering Lion Conquered”…
book is nowhere to be found, by the way. But
it is being appreciated by “Christafarians
who have read it.
of them said on the Christafari website:
“I have read the booklets Mark wrote
and I must say they are amazing! A big help
for Christians with a ministry to
I have read them at least 4 times through
and I think I'm due to read them again!
Always good to keep the info fresh in your
what’s the matter with this?
does someone like Buju Banton (Okay,
he’s not known to be relaxed all the time)
get so vexed by the writings that he
threatens the writer with a knife, where
other use words to describe the same
writings with a description that suits the
Bible, but a man’s writing?
definitely something going on here.
is obviously not the mere “message of
Christianity” that vexed Banton. Because,
why are most Rastafarians devout followers
of Yesus Kristos or at least claim to be?
Don’t talk bad about the Divine Saviour to
likes to say that Christianity itself is the
target of the hostility they receive, but
that cannot be.
it is “Christafarianism ”
and what it does with Christafarians rather
than Christianity itself that makes some
people so vex.
Time to investigate this matter.