Haile Selassie

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In 1924, Ras Tafari toured Europe and the Middle East visiting Jerusalem, Alexandria, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Geneva, and Athens. With him on his tour was a group that included Ras Seyum Mangasha of western Tigray Province; Ras Hailu Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam province; Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu of Illubabor Province; Ras Makonnen Endelkachew; and Blattengeta Heruy Welde Sellase. The primary goal of the trip to Europe was for Ethiopia to gain access to the sea. In Paris, Tafari was to find out from the French Foreign Ministry (Quai d'Orsay) that this goal would not be realized. However, failing this, he and his retinue inspected schools, hospitals, factories, and churches. Although patterning many reforms after European models, Tafari remained wary of European pressure. To guard against economic imperialism, Tafari required that all enterprises have at least partial local ownership. Of his modernization campaign, he remarked, "We need European progress only because we are surrounded by it. That is at once a benefit and a misfortune. "

Among the Rastafari movement , whose followers are estimated to number between 700,000 and one million, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate . [12] [13] Beginning 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. [14] Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life. He is a defining figure in Ethiopian history . [15] [16]

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