On Friday, March 16, 1934, Leonard Howell and Robert Hinds, founding evangelists of the Rastafari gospel, were in the fourth day of their trial for sedition in a Jamaican court. They were on trial because they promoted a message that threatened Jamaica’s colonial status quo: Black Jamaicans should transfer their loyalty from Britain’s King George V to King Ras Tafari of Ethiopia. They preached that King Ras Tafari was Christ returned to redeem Black people and to inaugurate a new and just order.
Jamaica’s national newspaper, the Daily Gleaner, which covered the trial, reported that “Howell said that it was prophesied that in the days of the kings of the earth, Jehovah would raise up a king with a righteous government . . . that Christ would return to earth as the Messiah, in the flesh; and that they would be able to see Him, and touch Him,
and eat with HIM.”
The Cultural Production of a Black Messiah: Ethiopianism and the Rastafari
by Charles Price, from:
Journal of Africana Religions, Volume 2, Number 3, 2014, pp. 418-433
Art source: Christ ‘Pantocrator’
The Trustees of the British Museum, Museum number 1998,0605.34.