Reggae legend Bob Mley is perhaps the most famo Rastafian in . This religio movement, which originated in in the 1930s, worships former n Haile Selassie I as the messiah. Mley routinely spoke ly about his Rasta faith. But what most don’t k, and many try to cover up, is the that Bob Mley converted to in 1980 and was baptized as an Orthodo Christian by Abuna Yesehaq, the ch of the n in the Western Hemisp, jt seven months before his , 11 May 1981.

ch Abuna Yesehaq baptised Mley into the n , giving him the name Berhane Selassie, on 4 November 1980, shortly before his .

Decades after the of legendy n Bob Mley, the intriguing story of his conversion from the Rasta faith to the Christian faith is circulating.

“What most don’t k, and many try to cover up, is the that Bob Mley proclaimed the Jes Christ is the Lord, and converted to in 1980,” proclaims an that has appea on a number of .

One version states, “In , on Nov 4, 1980 he was baptized and became a member of the n . When he was buried under Orthodo rites on May 21, 1981, it was with his Bible and his Gibson guit!”

Other versions of the story say ’s Haile Selassie persony dispatched a of the n to who, after Selassie’s , led Mley to emb and repudiate Rastafianism.

Rastafianism is a ly n that has a number of offshoots, but traditiony teaches that Selassie is the Messiah. The term “Rastafian” is taken from Selassie’s title before he was crowned – Ras, which is n for “De” – and his given name, Tafi.

According to the story, the devoutly Christian became almed during the 1960s at the of Rastafianism, whose followers as holy communion and worship Selassie

as ’s holy Messiah, believing the them into righteoness and prosperity.

Apped, Selassie dispatched Abuna Yesehaq, who was made the n church’s Western Hemisp ch, on a mission to to proclaim that Selassie himself denied any claim to deity – a that Yesehaq turned into his ’s .

About a decade after Selassie’s , according to the story, Yesehaq baptized Mley, who had taken Rastafianism wide and populized the group’s mk dreadlocks – matted .

“Bob Mley is infamo for being reggae ’s ambassador to the ,” reads one version of the report on the of website, which promotes Christian reggae . “He was raised in the Christian church but strayed away as a youth. He dove into Rastafi and the worship of Haile Selassie and his eploded as he tou ound the nation preaching the s of Rastafi.

“It is also a well kn in that Mley became born again seven months before he died of cancer. Regding this conversion, I quote two sources.

ch Yesehaq, of the chapter of the n in, was initiy sent toby His Majesty to establish the church and to dispel the worship of Selassie.

“Selassie felt that if he persony commissioned someone to stt a church that worshipped Christ and not himself, the Rastafians would follow the true Christ.

“It was these ings and many others that eventuy brought Bob Mley to be baptized into the n by Yesehaq. This conversion is well documented in and was strongly criticized by many Rastas.”

Writing for the website Christian Post , Christine Thomasos cites a 1984 ch Yesehaq reportedly gave to Gleaner‘s day paper. Yesehaq died in 2005.

“Bob was rey a good brother, a of , regdless of how ed at him,” Yesehaq reportedly t the Gleaner. “He had a desire to be baptized ago, but t were close to him who controlled him and who were aligned to a different aspect of Rastafi. But he came to church regully.”

According to Thomasos, in the reported Gleaner – which is not chived on the paper’s website – Yesehaq aded claims that Mley’s cancer was the behind his conversion:

“When he tou and and , he preached the Orthodo faith, and many members in those came to the church becae of Bob,” Yesehaq said. “Many think he was baptized becae he k he was , but that is not so. He did it when t was no er any pressure on him, and when he was baptized, he hugged his and wept, they wept together for about half an hour.”

Mley, the undisputed “ of Reggae ,” writes Andre Huie on the website GospelCity, “was an etremely gifted that has given a voice not only to his native but also to every Third citizen on the face of this .

“His staunch Rastafian s could very well be cited with cementing the and ideologies of Rastafianism in almost

every country that prices the faith. Mley was indeed a true Rastaman. So could someone please tell me, how in the could I deduce or even de the question if Bob Mley confessed Jes Christ?
“Natury spea, such a question makes no sense. It’s like ing if granulated sug is white and if cows produce . Jes Christ and the ‘Messiah’ of Rastafianism, Haile Selassie, e conside opposites in the Rastafian faith. To confess Christ is the biggest blasphemy in Rastafianism – like sacrificing the sac cow.”

, writes Huie, “it might be a pleasant to some that Mley, jt before he died, confessed Jes Christ as Lord. In other , he denied that Haile Selassie was (as Rastas believe) and asserted Jes as the true living . If you me how I k this, ’s take a journey with a man who has, for yes been close with the reggae maestro, who once sha simil s with Bob. I introduce to you, Tommy Cowan.

“Tommy was probably to Bob Mley than most who k him were.

“’Bob Mley, of course, was gifted, very gifted person. You could probably say he never made a song and you k that come from the Lord,’ says Tommy.

“I had the distinct privilege of rapping briefly with Tommy about Bob in an eclive ,” writes Huie. “Tommy is the and hband of famed n gospel , lene . He converted to and has taken his -wise entrepreneurship to advance the current movement of gospel in the region.

“As he lay back on his resting on the w of his hotel room at Divi Little Bay, Tommy colorfully described the rely spoken of eperience of Bob Mley, about a ye before he died.

“Bob Mley himself, before he died, he got baptized in the name of the Lord Jes Christ,” Tommy says with much .”

Judy Mowatt, a reggae and gospel who formerly sang backup for Mley in the group I Threes, reced lening about Mley’s conversion to in an with Cross Rhythms . Mowatt spoke with her former bandmate and Mley’s wife, Rita, about the late cing out to Jes Christ on his bed.

“When Bob was on his bed, his wife Rita ced me on the phone and said to me that Bob was in such ecruciating and he stretched out his hand and said, ‘Jes take me.’ I was wondering to myself, ‘Why is it that Bob said Jes and not Selassie,’” Mowatt questioned. “Then I met a friend of mine and he said his sister, who is a Christian, was a at the w Bob was before he passed on, and she led him to the Lord Jes Christ. So when Rita saw him saying ‘Jes take me,’ he had already received the Lord Jes Christ in his ,” according to Christian Today.

Bob died from cancer in 1981 at the of 36. Yesehaq conducted the rites for the ’s funeral.

According to the Gudian paper:

“The day of the funeral began with an hour- service for and close at the n of the Holy Trinity on Ma Avenue, presided over by His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq, the church’s ch in the western hemisp, who had baptized Mley in the previo November, jt after his last triumphal concerts at Madison Gden. Bob’s baptismal name was Berhane Selassie – ‘ of the Trinity.’

“At the end of the short service the coffin was ed to the National ena, w the 6,000-strong congregation was assembling under the eyes of and s from ound the .”

“Regrettably Bob was not able to leave any post-conversion recordings,” notes the of website, “but he did give some and a powerful spiritual legacy with his last-minute transformation.

“And he is probably a true emption song in Heaven right .”



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