Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bob Marley's Conversion to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

Bob Marley's baptismal name was Berhane Selassie, "Light of the Holy Trinity;" his final words were "Jesus, take me." 

I have much admiration for both the Rastafarians and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Bob Marley was both, and converted to Christianity in 1980. Most people don't know that Bob Marley, one of my favorite musical artists and a true prophet, converted to Christianity in 1980. On November 4th, 1980 he was received into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Abuna Yesehaq, archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere who died in 2005, admitted that he baptized Bob Marley about one year before his death.

The Jamaicans.com website says that Bob remained outside the church for several years after Rita and the children converted in 1972. Bob was under the spiritual guidance of the archbishop but was baptized just a year before his death, after three aborted attempts to convert in Kingston. He backed out each time, says the Archbishop, after being threatened by other rastas. Marley was finally baptised in the Ethiopian Church in New York where less resentments were less inflamed. The Archbishop christened him Berhane Selassie, which is Coptic for "Light of the Holy Trinity".

"Bob was really a good brother, a child of God, regardless of how people looked at him," Yesehaq said. "He had a desire to be baptized long ago, but there were people close to him who controlled him and who were aligned to a different aspect of Rastafari. But he came to church regularly."

"When he toured Los Angeles and New York and England, he preached the Orthodox faith, and many members in those cities came to the Church because of Bob," Yesehaq said.

Yesehaq told interviewer Barbara Blake Hannah: "I remember once while I was conducting the Mass, I looked at Bob and tears were streaming down his face. Many people think he was baptised because he knew he was dying, but that is not so... he did it when there was no longer any pressure on him, and when he was baptised, he hugged his family and wept. They all wept together for about an hour."

Bob Marley's final words were "Jesus, take me."

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Sources:

Bob Marley Died a Christian

Bob Marley knew Jesus 

Side Eye Post of The Day: Bob Marley knew Jesus - The Old Black Church


Interview with Bob Marley's Bishop, Bishop Yesehaq  

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