by Curt Waite
These words, shouted at us from the
dirt street in front of our home, were our first
experience with the cult called Rastafarians.
We had just moved to the Caribbean island of
Antigua to begin a missionary radio station.
Our neighborhood seemed to be filled with
glassy-eyed young black men with their hair
worn in long matted dreadlocks. When they
would shout “burn, burn, fire, Babylon” at our
two and four-year-old children, it was very
unsettling and somewhat frightening. We
would quote to ourselves Hebrews 13:6, “…I
will not fear what man shall do unto me.” It was
difficult to imagine that we would ever see any
of these terrifying people come to believe in
Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Rastafarians, members of a
Caribbean religious cult started by
Marcus Garvey and popularized in
song by Bob Marley, claim Ethiopia
as their spiritual homeland. They
claim the Bible as the source
of their doctrine. Their God is
“Jah” and many of them worship
the late Haile Selassie, believing
that he was a reincarnation
of Jesus Christ. They become
“filled with the Holy Spirit” by
smoking marijuana. Their long,
twisted locks of hair originate in
Old Testament Nazarite vows.
10 BIMI WORLD – Number 3, 2009
Others are considered to be devils and part of
spiritual Babylon. Rastafarians feel righteous
in observing the practices of not cutting their
hair, smoking marijuana and living removed
from the materialistic world. Many of them are
very fierce and aggressive in their demeanor.
I would have to say that we did not consider
them to be prime candidates for salvation!
Six years later, in 1981, we were to see
God's miraculous power in bringing four of
these young men to Himself. We are in awe that
God allowed our ministry to be instrumental
in reaching these young men.
The Caribbean Radio Lighthouse (CRL)
began broadcasting in 1975. Over the years
many letters have been received from listeners,