Are Dreadlocked People Unchristian? [analysis]

Last week, my friend and l decided to attend the National Day of Prayer here at ELCIN church.

Since the sermon had already started, only a few people including ushers were outside. But we could sense there was some cold, excited feeling among those outside by the stares they directed at my friend. To me, I was just another church-goer. As we walked down the aisles to find ourselves vacant seats, the stares became colder and we could see many pairs of eyes stalking us, my friend in particular. Even the preacher and those religious personages at the pulpit case threw furtive glances towards our direction. It’s like he had committed a sacrifice by entering the holy house of God with dreadlocks!

So, is he wearing dreadlocks against Christian’s dogma? A number of Rastafarians approached have it that dreadlocks have religious roots and it’s only some “fake” Rastafarians who have been spoiling their name. John Nakapandi, spotting long dreadlocks, says that “wearing dreadlocks has become a symbol of pride and acceptance of hair in its natural state.” The Eenhana ELCIN church, people who equate dreadlocks and Rastafarians with drugs, alcohol and sex, are just ignorant of the true meaning of the movement. “I neither smoke nor drink but I’m deeply religious. I started wearing my dreadlocks long after I had gotten saved. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who wears dreadlocks smokes marijuana, and not everyone who smokes marijuana wears dreadlocks,” he says.

Ester Hailaula, a female Rastafarian here says that King Solomon had dreadlocks and he is one of the most biblical figures he admires. He adds that just like King Solomon and his harem of girls, he has seen on several occasions – women turning their heads to admire his dreadlocks but points out that unlike his biblical role model, women are always the last thing on his mind.

“Some people think that we wear dreadlocks to attract women but mine have religious attachments to them,” he says.

Paulus Hikumwa, another Rasta but also a writer in his own right, says that dreadlocks have always been associated with rebellion, and people like him are admired and feared in equal measure. “I am neither a rebel nor violent. I am just a normal, human being who has decided to wear his head differently. The most difficult part of having dreadlocks is coping with stigmas attached to wearing them from society. But it’s high time everyone knew that a Rasta is the most peaceful person who will never start a fight, however much provoked.”

Pastor Lameck Nghiimbuasha of the ELCIN church here says that it’s not unchristian to wear dreadlocks and he has no problems with dreadlocked people in his church. However, he admits he has issues with the kind of attention Rasta’s normally attract whenever they enter the church.

Source : New Era