CHRISTAFARI:TORN BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND RASTAFARIAN MOVEMENT

Christianity and Rastafari don’t really relate that well.Members of either groups tend to disagree in various  ideologies that shape their lives.This can go even to an extend which a certain member of either of the groups would not read or associate themselves with books or activities of the other.Even though both preach the satisfaction of inner soul ,they do it in two different ways.

This has created a controversy over a long time for a christian gospel  music group called Christafari.The group founded in 1990 is a christian reggae band.It revolves around Mark “tansoback” Mohr who is a religious minister.

Mohr who was born in 1971 is a an American born-again christian .Through out his childhood Mohr was a Rastafarian .As a drug addict he was attracted to reggae music and later became a marijuana grower after visiting Jamaica in 1986.He became so involved ion reggae music to an extent of learning Jamaican patois, a dialect common in reggae music.

He converted to Christianity while at a church camp at the age of 17 and two weeks later at another  christian camp, he wrote and performed his first song which was a gospel reggae called give me everything i need.

The band’s lyrics are characterized by a heart of Rastafarians a passion of reaching the drug-afflicted counter -culture and a unique evangelical message like in the song why you a-go.Musically the band fuses roots with modern dance hall culture to create their own signature sound.

Christafari band members

    Christafari band members

This combination of the two different religious movements has caused a lot of criticism from both the christians and rastafarians.Some rastafarians are offended because the group members wear dreadlocks and use the red,gold and green colours which are associated with the Rastafarian movement together with the star of David which is an image prominent in Rastafari culture.

Star of David

       Star of David

The star of David is a symbol common in Rastafari religion and is mostly use in reggae CD covers.If you are keen you must have seen some rastafarians folding their hands in the symbol of star of David.

Hand folded in star of David symbol.

Hand folded in star of David symbol.photo/courtesy

In an attempt to bring Rastas to Christ rastafarians reject the Christafari approach and view their message as an attack on the divinity of Selassie 1.

However some Christians feel offended because Mohr and his band members wear dreadlocks and sing in style associated with Rastafaria.They have also criticized over the name of the band and the use of the word “Jah” in their songs to refer to God.However the band defends itself by saying jah is a short form of the word Yahweh as used in the Bible.

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