Gods are generally thought of as eternal, existing before the universe or being the first things to spring from the chaos. That is not a view shared by everyone, however. Throughout history, humans like us (though perhaps with slightly larger egos) have been raised to the status of gods. Here are 10 people who have been deified.
Haile Selassie was the 225th—and last—emperor of Ethiopia. He is also known as Ras Tafari, the incarnation of god and messiah in the Rastafarian faith. Although he gave Ethiopia a constitution which declared the emperor to be sacred, it was a prophecy from across the ocean that made him a divine figure.
Marcus Garvey campaigned for black rights in Jamaica. He also preached Pan-Africanism and said, “Look to Africa when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is near.” This was taken as a prophecy. When Haile Selassie was crowned in 1930, it looked as if deliverance was at hand.
In 1934, Italy invaded Ethiopia, and in 1936, Selassie went into exile. Garvey denounced him for abandoning his country, but Rastafarians took little notice. The emperor returned to Ethiopia in 1941.
In 1966, Selassie visited Jamaica and was greeted by thousands of Rastafarians at the airport. Defying expectations, he did not deny his divine status and he remains central to the Rastafarian faith.
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