Before this, in 1958, there was a widespread famine. Despite this, Selassie refused to send significant emergency food aid, resulting in the deaths of approximately 100,000 people. There are also various other stated large-scale famines, atrocities, and mass killlings during his regime.
He is important in Rastafarianism, with some followers worshippping him as God incarnate. In a 1967 recorded interview, he stated that "I have heard of that idea. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal, and that I will be replaced by the oncoming generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that a human being is emanated from a deity."