Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia

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Rastafari movement
Flag of Ethiopia (1897).svg

Haile Selassie I (Ge'ez: ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ, "Power of the Trinity"[1]) (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen,[2] was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.[3][4]

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people.[5] His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.[6] His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize adequately,[7] earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.[8]

Haile Selassie is revered as the returned Messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers of which is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000.[9][10] Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity.[11] He himself remained an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.


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