Popular mainstream artist M.I.A. says she became a born-again Christian after having a vision of Jesus Christ, and it’s something she’s proud of even if it may cost her her career.

In a conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, M.I.A., born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, revealed that a vision of Jesus Christ in 2017 turned her world upside down.

The vision of Jesus convinced the “Paper Planes” singer to become a Christian despite years of pushing back against tradition. 

“Since then, my head has been in a totally different place. Being a Tamil and being a Hindu, I was very comfortable that I’d arrived finding myself. Which is, I think, going to be weird for America to process,” she told Lowe of her divine vision. “But I had a vision and I saw the vision of Jesus Christ.”

“It’s very creatively a crazy thing because it turned my world upside down,” she continued. “Because everything I thought and believed was no longer the case. And I think that was maybe a sign that something major was going to happen in the world and that people were needing to be introduced to this concept.”

In 2006 M.I.A. was banned from entering the U.S. for a time due to her controversial lyrics and her alleged support for a Sri Lankan guerrilla group called the Tamil Tigers. In the U.S., the group is regarded as a terrorist organization.

She revealed on the Apple podcast that before her vision, she found the concept of Christianity to be “basic.”

Lowe then interjected, asking her if she is a “born-again Christian now.” The artist responded, “Yes, I am.”

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Born in London and of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, M.I.A. was raised Hindu. Throughout her career, she has advocated for refugees and Palestinians living in Israel’s West Bank.

“I’m not going to lie. Then when I had this vision, it turned my world upside down. I kind of couldn’t let go of the Tamil side,” she revealed.

M.I.A is gearing up to release a new album titled MATA via her new label, Island Records. Her first single, “The One,” is now streaming. She noted that half of the record is still influenced by her upbringing. However, her messaging will be informed by her Christian faith. 

“I’m still me. That’s still my language. And those are still my tools to be able to create beats like that or a sound like that,” she explained. “But I think the message was just to get to a peaceful place. Watch the space. The history is, even if it costs me my career, I won’t lie. I will tell the truth, and I will tell you what’s on my mind and my heart.” 

“If I’m coming back now saying ‘Jesus is real,’ there’s a point,” the singer declared. 

“Basically, all of my fans might turn against me because they are all progressives who hate people that believe in Jesus Christ in this country,” she added.

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