The UK-based formerlyChristian rapper Jahaziel has renounced his Christian faith.
The rapper, who won a MOBO award for Best Gospel Act in 2008, took to Facebook on 22 December to announce his decision to turn away from the Christian faith, listing a long stream of reasons why he could no longer keep his faith and his integrity, including the Church's involvement in the slave trade and plagiarised Bible stories.
"A short while ago I turned away from 20 years as a professing Christian. I had a good job with a church organization, a house provided by the church, a large social circle of likeminded people, a career in gospel music, a worldwide fan base, a respected reputation & status within Christian and non Christian circles," Jahaziel wrote on Facebook.
After a large reaction on social media, with 905 comments currently on his first Facebook post, Jahaziel posted a follow-up post clarifying his position.
"You can believe the bible and its God all you want but to me he just demands my fear because he cannot earn my respect. I cannot possibly agree that he is love unless I ignore all the men, women and little children he has slaughtered throughout the entire bible," he wrote.
"But maybe some peoples Christian lenses won't allow them to see that - cool. Mine didn't either for s (sic) long time. I have tasted and seen - and my conclusion is that Christianity (it's flawed book, bloodthirsty god and mythical savior) i have found unsatisfactory and unworthy of my allegiance or worship unless by threatening to kill me if I don't - as Christianity does."
Throughout the posts, Jahaziel insisted that it was not Christians he rejected, but the religion of Christianity. On New Year's Eve he posted a photo, with the hashtags: #LoveDontNeedNoReligiousTitles #NeverHasNeverWill:
Instead, he said that he desired to return to "the love, truth and wisdom my Afrikan ancestors lived and practiced for 1000's of years prior to Judaism, Islam or Christianity. Principles based on the elements of nature, humanity, universal laws, the stars, true science..."