Christafari is a Christian reggae band formed in 1990 that is centered around the personality of ordained religious minister Mark "Tansoback" Mohr (born October 23, 1971), an American born-again Christian. Until the age of 17, Mohr was a Rastafaria. The essential goal of Christafari is to convert Rastafaris to Christianity.
His albums have been moderately successful. Soulfire proved to be an early success for the fledgeling Gotee Records. Valley Of Decision spent 15 weeks in the top 10 of Billboard's "Top Reggae Albums" chart. The label began as a production company. Originally intending to produce Out Of Eden's Lovin' the Day, they couldn't find a label to sign the act to, and so began distributing the band's material on their own. Gravity (2003) was the first album to be distributed simultaneously in Christian and general retail markets. Mohr also runs his own label, Lion of Zion Entertainment, where he promotes artists with a creed similar to his own. This a group of successful christian or Christafar's that preach and teaches the youth of the Caribbean and International reggae lover's how to give true praise to the Creator.
Lion of Zion Entertainment (LoZ) is a record label formed in 1999 by Christafari founder Mark Mohr and musician/businessman Scott Whelan for the purpose of "Reaching the World through World Music." In this global community we live in, God is using people from many nations to spread His message of hope and Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. He's also using many different styles and genres of music and language to accomplish this purpose. Though we live in a diverse country, international musical styles are very under-represented in the U.S. Most of the time, US record companies are attempting to take our music to the world. We want to bring the world's music to the US and abroad. We search for, produce, and distribute to the world, the best quality Christian music from around the world. Our specialties are reggae and various other Caribbean styles. We have also released Latin & African styles and languages as well as U.S. flavors such as Jazz/Big Band & Rap/Hip Hop.
Lion of Zion Entertainment also operates a retail webstore. Many, if not most, of the Christian or Gospel reggae and world music artists are independents and individuals whose music cannot be found in stores. Although Lion of Zion Entertainment titles are found in most Christian book/music stores and some general market music stores, we cannot possibly distribute all the great titles these independent artists are producing. To solve this problem, we've assembled the world's largest collection of Gospel reggae & world music in our World Music Webstore, creating a reliable source of this music for all the many fans and listeners out there. The store will continue to grow and expand in its breadth of styles and genres. By President Mark Mohr
I know it seems like every artist out there that sells a few records turns around and starts their own label. I am not doing this to be a "bandwagonist" (Jamaican slang for "Jumping on the bandwagon"). I know that over 12 years ago God called me to start my own record company with the name "Lion of Zion." "Lion of Zion" was the title of Christafari's first recorded demo. For me the name is a constant reminder of where I came from and a daily challenge to stay true to God's calling on my life. It's also a reminder of WHO we are doing this for - Jesus Christ, the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. For years I waited for God's specific timing before I embarked on this serious task. In 1999 the Lord paved the way for this endeavor through the help of Bill Conine and our family at Diamante Music Group--now Butterfly Distribution International--our distributors for the US-CBA market.
I believe God wants us to have a global perspective regarding Christianity. "Reaching the World through World Music" means broadening the traditionally narrow scope of Christian music to fit all races and music from every nation. In this industry, music has typically been recorded in Nashville, Tennessee and sent off to the rest of the world telling them this is what Christian music sounds like. When are we going to let these countries record their indigenous music and send it to us further broadening our perspective of what God is doing in the rest of the world? That question has become our goal. It's one of the many reasons why I play, perform and produce Christian reggae with the band Christafari. I hope that our message can edify the Christians and evangelize the world over the infectious reggae rhythms of Jamaica and the indigenous music of other countries.
Musically, the group is typical of reggae. Slang, toasting, and jungle music beats are quite common. In 1997 the group split over a dispute about their musical direction. Founding Christafari member Erik Sundin and others formed Temple Yard. While Christafari has continued as reggae, Temple Yard is fusion oriented, showing pop, reggae, soul, and gospel influence similar to UB40 or Big Mountain.
In October 2004, reggae artist Messian Dread published an e-book with the title: "CHRISTAFARIANISM: Don't Be A Rasta, Be Like A Rasta". In the book, Christafari was criticized for portraying Rastafari as anti-Christian. Christafari in its turn criticized Messian Dread for smoking marijuana and "blending Rastafari and Christianity".
This is the list from the last To the Foundation tour in Brazil 2007: