Mainstream rapper M.I.A. recently opened up about her conversion to Christianity and how her newfound faith is something she "cannot censor" in her life.
M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, told Relevant magazine about her vision of Christ that she experienced in 2016.
The "Paper Planes" singer told Relevant that the life-changing vision took place "in the middle of nowhere. No cell phone service, et cetera."
"I wasn't asleep," she added. "It wasn't a dream. It wasn't a hallucination."
M.I.A. recalled that her first reaction was "to laugh" since she could not believe what had transpired, The Christian Post reports.
"I just couldn't believe it was real," she said. "I didn't believe Jesus was real. I always thought He was made up, or not even made up, but I just always thought it was a silly story."
"I literally got saved in a very physical sense," she continued. "And I think that's what it is. When you need saving, the person who turns up – no matter who you are and no matter what religion or no matter what status or what you are – if you are in need and you need saving, the person who turns out to save you is Jesus. That is what He's known for."
M.I.A., who was born in London to Sri Lankan Tamil parents, shared that her mother was a Christian, but her father was an atheist who viewed religion as a means "of control." Having an affinity for Hinduism, M.I.A. admitted that her mother's Christian faith never interested her until she experienced the vision of Christ, which she described to the Guardian as an "existential crisis."
"In my time of need, the God that turned up to save me was not Shiva. It was Jesus," she said, referring to one of the multiple Hindu deities. "That is the truth, and I have to say that."
"The only clear thing I can say is that even when I had no belief in Jesus Christ and Christianity, and even when I was 100 percent comfortable in Hinduism, it was a Christian God that turned up to save me," the artist continued. "And I think there is truth in that."
"I'm so new to it," she added. "It's not like I can recite all the verses of the Bible and stuff like that."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, M.I.A. first opened up about her vision of Christ during an interview on Apple Music's The Zane Lowe Show.
In addition to making music, M.I.A. has spoken publicly about identity politics, cancel culture, and the COVID-19 vaccine.
During her interview with Relevant, M.I.A. noted that Christianity intersects with her passion for helping out the needy and the oppressed.
"The concept of Christianity is very much based in being there for the needy or helping the needy and saving people and giving people a clearer path to God."
She also spoke about her latest album, MATA, which has been released under her label Island Records. She explained that the album is inspired by her newfound Christian faith, but still features her signature sound.
"I feel like I got shown something, which now I cannot censor in my life and be like, 'Christianity is fake, or Christianity is social control. It's made up to colonize people,' whatever the thing is," she said. "I can never say that because I actually know the truth."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kristy Sparow/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.