Kanye West told the audience at a listening party for his new album Jesus Is King that he’s a “recent convert” to Christianity.
The rapper treated a select group of fans to one of the first listens of his latest offering at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in Washington D.C. on Saturday.
And during the event, Kanye told the crowd about his religious beliefs as he explained: “I want to let you know that I am not here for your entertainment this afternoon. We are here to spread the gospel.”
“Excuse me if I mispronounce anything,” he added in a video from the event obtained by TMZ.com. “I am a recent convert. It means I recently got saved within this year.”
His announcement was met by a round of applause from the audience.
While Kanye was raised a Christian, he said during an interview back in 2009 that his religion was forced upon him – so much so that he eventually started to separate himself from the idea of belonging to one specific faith.
“Christianity wasn’t an option when I was growing up, it was the only thing,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was given the decision at the time. You know how you decide that you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a painter or a basketball player or whatever? You’re not given a decision of what religion you want.”
Now he’s once again exploring his religious beliefs through his music – with the Jesus Is King album concept stemming from his Sunday Service. While the weekly events are open to people of all faiths, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian, who was raised Christian Armenian, said previously of the service: “It’s more of just a healing experience. There’s no praying, there’s no sermon, no word, just music, and just a feeling – and it’s Christian.”