Visit of Emperor haile selasi and his advise
Rastafaris believe that Emperor Haile Selassie I of
Ethiopia was the second coming of Jesus Christ. During his
life back in the 1960s, Haile Selassie himself decided to
visit Jamaica. The official line was that it was a
diplomatic visit, but some people believed he wanted to meet
the Rastafari and learn about the people who worshiped him
as another coming of the messiah.
Since his visit, April
21 has been known to Rastafari as Grounation Day and is
observed as one of the most important holy days.
point to several sources as proof of Selassie’s destiny:
astrological occurrences at the time of Selassie’s birth,
a lineage traceable to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba,
the prophesies of Marcus Garvey and
biblical passages relating to Ethiopia and Zion.
constellation of Leo, which represents the house of Judah,
was in full effect during the birth of Selassie on July 23,
Garvey had been preaching of a messiah who would lead the
African people to freedom. Biblical text relays that “he
will be called … conquering lion of the tribe of Judah.” In
actuality he had several pet lions in his palace. When news
of Selassie’s assumption of the Ethiopian throne reached
Jamaica in 1930, the Rastafari movement was born.
of the Trinity’
This was name
given to the Tafari Makonnen as a baby when he was baptized
in the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia. He was the son of Ras
Makonnen. Ras means Chief of the Army, He was born within
the then royal family and was known as Lij Tafari Makonnen
from 1892-1905. Lij means child.
He became a General
in 1905 and so was titled
until 1916 when his
literally means Head (more like Duke in England).
He was Ras
Tafari Makonnen until 1928.
From 1928 to 1930 he held
the court rank of
Negus or king
and at his
coronation he earned the supreme court rank
Nagast (King of Kings) of Ethiopia and opted
for his baptismal name Haile Selassie as his royal
name. Haile means in Ge'ez "Power of" and Selassie
means trinity—therefore Haile Selassie roughly
translates to "Power of the Trinity".
1966 coin of 10 Bir
I left Addis Ababa in 1961
HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I
(Our) Abbat (Father) Fatari (Creator) who art in
Zion Axum (Heaven) Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I is thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy ‘Will’ be done on earth as it is in Zion Axum (Heaven).
Give us, your children, our daily bread and forgive us our
errors because of the feebleness of our heart.
Deliver us from the Adversary of the day,
and bless our hands and the things that we do.
Grant us long life, good health and strength,
to live and fulfill thy ‘Holy Will’.
For thine is the earth, power and glory forever and ever.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
21st Century prayer to Emperor Haile Selassie I
proclaiming His Kingdom now on earth.
Blessed be Jah-Rastafari-Haile Selassie I
The Living God! Amen!
THE WITNESS OF EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE
following is an interview of Dr. Oswald Hoffmann with HIM
Haile Selassie on Christmas day Dec 25, 1968 in which he
declares his faith in Jesus Christ and why.
– Translated by Haile Selassie I Press
Excerpts from an interview with Haile Selassie, conducted by
Dr. Oswald Hoffman on Christmas Day 1968.
Dr. Hoffmann:Your Imperial Majesty, what is it that
makes you want to follow Jesus Christ?
When Jesus Christ was born from Virgin Mary, from that time
on He lived an exemplary life, a life which men everywhere
must emulate. This life and the faith which He has taught us
assures us of salvation, assures us also of harmony and good
life upon earth. Because of the exemplary character of the
life of Jesus Christ it is necessary that all men do their
maximum in their human efforts to see to it that they
approximate as much as they can the good example that has
been set by HIM.
true that there is no perfection in humanity. From time to
time we make mistakes. We do commit sins, but even as we do
that, deep in our hearts as Christians we know we have a
chance of forgiveness from the Almighty. He taught us that
all men are equal regardless of sex, their national origin
and tribe. And He also taught us all who seek HIM shall find
HIM. To live in this healthy life, a Christian life, is what
makes me follow Jesus Christ.
Your Imperial Majesty, what advice would you give a person
who is considering the claims of Christ, perhaps for the
would tell a person who was considering the claim of Christ
for the first time that it is necessary to have faith in
the Almighty, that it is necessary to have love, and that it
is necessary to conduct oneself in a manner that we have
been taught to do in the Bible….
also advise him to seek the secular knowledge, for
the more one knows the more he realizes the need for a prime
mover, the need for a Creator, a Creator who is good, and
the need for salvation and also for peaceful life upon
Hoffmann: Your Imperial Majesty, are there any incidents in
your life which stand in your memory as times when faith
in Christ sustained you?
There are many instances in my life where the belief in The
Almighty and the Christian Faith have sustained me, times of
troubles and difficulties. No matter what may befall a human
being he can always succeed in overcoming it in time if he
has the strength of faith and praise to God, for inevitably
He comes to the assistance of those that believe in HIM and
those that through their work live an exemplary life.
not only for Christians in my view, but for all men. I think
God communicates with those that find themselves in
misfortune. In particular, when my country Ethiopia was
invaded by aliens several years ago I was sustained in that
period by my faith in God and in the abiding belief that
justice, however it may take time, will ultimately prevail.
If I did
not have faith in The Almighty and in His Righteousness and
that justice inevitable prevails, then I would have lost
hope and thus the interests of my country would have been
ignored. Because I attempted to maintain my faith in HIM and
because all Ethiopians maintained their faith in the
ultimate goodness of the world and in the grand design that
The Almighty has for all men in the world, we were able to
victoriously re-enter our country and rid ourselves of evil
If I did
not have in my heart the love of God I don’t think I would
have acted in a manner that I did. The love of God brings a
sense of religiousness in a human being, it gives him
comfort for the future and assurance that right cause will
Dr. Hoffmann: Your
Imperial Majesty, as a member of the Body of Christ, what do
you expect of the Church?
H.I.M.: All men are
endowed with natural responsibility. This responsibility is
in turn distributed and delegated to all according to his
gift, and it is expected of each one to fulfil his
responsibility. This responsibility in turn is to God and
thus for example, and would start his work asking God to
bless the beginning and thank God for a good ending too.
We believe that all
people in all of their responsibilities delegated to them
will begin and finish their work in God’s name. I gave you
brief answer. If we go into detail we would have to spend a
long time discussing.
Dr. Hoffmann:It is a
magnificent answer and I am deeply grateful for it. To turn
to another subject, Your Imperial Majesty, are there any
passages of the bible that have become especially meaningful
H.I.M.: I have the
highest respect for the Bible as a whole. We also recognise
the rightful name the Bible bears. We find that in all the
periods of the Old Testament, in the time of Patriarchs,
Kings, and Prophets, great miracles were done. On the other
hand, the time in which Our Lord HIM-self gave the command
to go to all the world and to preach is also of high value.
Then, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,- the four gospels in
which the sayings of our Lord are recorded- are pillars for
all men on the earth. Therefore the Bible should not be cut
Dr. Hoffmann: As a
mature Christian, have You a special word for young people
of these days?
H.I.M.: On this occasion
I address all those within Our Empire. Our Christianity is
not restricted to a given church and I stress above all that
We do not wish to make distinctions. My advice to all is to
fulfil the Ten Commandments. You are aware of the contents
of the Ten Commandments and can elaborate on it. If the
nation for which I am the Emperor follows and accepts this,
since its also what I accept and follow, I would believe our
country is not only historically Christian but also actively
Haile Selassie I (previously Prince Ras Tafari), (1891 -
1975), Emperor of Ethiopia,
arrives at Palisadoes Airport on April 21, 1966 in Kingston
Haile Selassie's plane landed in Jamaica is commemorated
annually by Rastafarians as Groundation Day and is
considered the second holiest holiday.
The most holy holiday is November 2nd, the Emperor's
Coronation Day. More than 100,000 Rastafarians from all over
Jamaica to flock to the Palisadoes Airport (now Norman
Manley International Airport) in Kingston,
"My Life and Ethiopia’s Progress, Volume 2", an interview by Bill
and from his address to the World Evangelical
Congress in 1966.
Haile Selasssie: "When He [Jesus Christ] sacrificed himself at Golgotha for the
atonement of our sin, He prayed with His last breath for the
forgiveness of those who had tortured Him saying, ‘Father,
forgive them for they know not what they do’. Shame on those
of us who are Christians and do not follow the way of the
Savior of the World, whose life was filled with kindness,
humility, and martyrdom!"
Haile Selassie: "Without love all of our human
efforts in the sight of God can be useless. He loved us and
on our behalf He was given as a ransom, and it was because
of love and His love for us that He accomplished the act of
Haile Selassie: "We in Ethiopia have one of the
oldest versions of the Bible, but however old the version
may be, in whatever language it might be written, the Word
remains one and the same. It transcends all boundaries of
empires and al conceptions of race. It is eternal…. And I
might say for myself that from early childhood I was taught
to appreciate the Bible and my love for it increases with
the passage of time.
All through my troubles I have found it a cause of infinite
comfort…. Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations
crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not whither
he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his
refuge, and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man
will find the solution of his present difficulties and
guidance for his future action, and unless he accepts with
clear conscience the Bible and its great Message, he cannot
hope for salvation. For my part, I glory in the Bible."
Haile Selassie: "This age above all ages is a period
in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the
Gospel of grace to all our fellow men and women. The love
shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all
of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in
our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is
carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ our Savior
was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing
the Good News…. However wise or however mighty a person may
be, he is like a ship without a rudder if he is without God.
A rudderless ship is at the mercy of the waves and the wind,
drifts wherever they take it, and if there arises a
whirlwind it is smashed against the rocks and becomes as if
it has never existed. It is our firm belief that a soul
without Christ is bound to meet with no better fate.
Therefore, O Christians, let us arise and, with the
spiritual zeal and earnestness which characterized the
Apostles and early Christians, let us labor to lead out
brothers and sisters to our Savior Jesus Christ, Who only
can give life in its fullest sense!"
in response to the question
"There are millions throughout the world, your Imperial Majesty, who
regard you as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ."
Haile Selassie: "I had heard of that idea. I also
met certain Rastafarians.
I told them clearly that 'I am a man,'
that 'I am mortal,'
and that 'I would be replaced by the oncoming generation,
and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or
pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity.'"
His imperial highness
Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie and his imperial highness
Prince Bekere Fikre Selassie made a statement "On the
Occasion of the Month Long Celebration of Bob Marley’s 60th
Birthday" in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The statement, published
10 February 2005, included this passage:
"In the spirit of true
unity advocated by Bob Marley, it is also our responsibility
to remind our Rastafarian brothers and sisters that Emperor
Haile Selassie, who was a devout Christian, has never
claimed to be a deity. In fact, the Emperor was responsible
for establishing the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the
Caribbean." True followers of his imperial majesty Haile
Selassie I do not claim he is Jah, but forward in the living
tradition of roots Christianity.
Can it be that “Jah himself
do not know he is God?
Visit of Haile Selassie in 1966
The Tragedy Strikes.
While it was good going, tragedy struck
too fast. In 1961 the body guards of Haile Selassie
dethroned Selassie while he was on a state tour. However
brave emperor landed in Addisababa and the culprits were
hanged openly in the square. I was there to see this
execution personally. But in1974 a group of Marxists took
over the power and put the emperor in house arrest.
Eventualy he died under suspicious conditions and the rest
of the family escaped. Jah is dead. The impossible
happenned. Unlike Jesus, Haile Selassie never resurrected
not ever after 30 days. He remained dead. Evidently
Rastafarians are to explain their faith and assert it some
rational way. Help again came from the Indian Hindu
This was suggested by
Joseph Owens in 1973 based on Haile Selassie’s rejection of
messiahship. In 1991 Michael N. Jagessar revised Owens's
ideas where all Christian foundations on which it started
were relegated and found it basis on “man as god.”. The
problem lie in the concept of incarnation - God becoming
human. This is will require a human who claim to be God.
But the basis of the statement that man is part of God
follow from the concept that “God alone exists”. Hence man
is part of the body of God just as human body consists of
several organs with life and independence. Jewish Caballah
indeed porposes that God contracted to make space and allow
freewilled sons and daughters to exist . It was the 8th
century Sankara who taught this in Hinduism. The Hindu
presence had proposed this solutions to Rastas.
Rastafarians of Jamaica, 1973 pp. 167-70 and
JPIC and Rastafarians, 1991 pp. 15-17.)
The humanity of God and the divinity of man
God is found within every man
God in history
Salvation on earth
The supremacy of life
Respect for nature
The power of speech
Evil is corporate : Sin is both personal and corporate.
Judgement is near
The priesthood of Rastafarians
It is not
difficult to see how the death of Haile Selassie affected
the Rastology. The emphasis was moved from YHVH of
Christianity to the Divinity of Man as they absorbed from
Hinduism, Here is a restatement of the fact as given
The Chandogya Upanishad
equates Brahman the unchanging eternal God with all
pervading Self within every man as follows:
Truly what is called
Brahman is the same as that space outside a person
Truly that space which is outside a person is the same as
that which is inside the person
Truly that space which is inside a person is the same which
is inside the heart.
That is fullness. That is the unchanging.
One who knows this invariably gains full prosperity and
it all started as a Liberation Theology within Christian
Faith. They were looking forward to a Moses figure who will
lead them across the sea to their native land of plenty.
With the coronation of Haile Selassie pointed every
possibility of new leader. However he was thrown out of the
kingship by the Marxists of Ethiopia and they began an
active wiping out of his name from every act and record.
Finally he was killed and his body was hidden away. When
these facts came out it was the Rasta that lost their Moses.
Since it relied on the person of Haile Selassie, his death
required a new interpretation. Thus most within the cult of
Rastaferianism found themselves in a dilema.
remain as the cry of black under its yoke of slavery and
their hope of a bright future. Rasta moved away from its
starting point as a liberation theology within Christianity
and ended as a Hindu caste religion with Black people as a
superior race and Rastafarians as Brahminic priests.
Selassie] wanted to be absolutely clear that he was not a
saint or a messiah.” Prince Bedemariam Mekonnen Haile
Selassie, one of the Emperor’s grandsons, told Erin MacLeod,
Visions of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in Search of the