Jamaica’s Anglican church to modernize hymnals with reggae songs

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Songs by late reggae legends Bob Marley and Peter Tosh — both devout Rastafarians — will be included in a new collection of Anglican church hymnals in Jamaica.

Marley’s “One Love” and Tosh’s “Psalm 27” will be the first reggae tunes to appear in songbooks alongside traditional worship music on the island that gave birth to reggae, said church leaders preparing a new collection of hymns.

Church spokesman Rev. Ernle Gordon said on Friday that members of the Anglican Church of Jamaica were enthusiastic about including the reggae musicians’ music in the hymnals, despite their sometimes vocal opposition to Christianity.

“They may have been anti-church, but they were not anti-God or anti-religion,” said Gordon, adding that including the songs would help modernize Jamaica’s hymnals.

Marley and Tosh, who both died in the 1980s after becoming international music stars, practiced Rastafarianism, a faith founded by descendants of slaves in response to black oppression.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 6, 2007.
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