It’s almost time to meet The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City and we’re getting an introduction to a housewife whose story is especially interesting.
Jen Shah alongside her costars will come barreling onto TV screens this Sunday when #RHOSLC debuts. Ahead of that, Bravo wants you to learn more about Jen who converted from Mormonism to Islam after getting a history lesson on the religion’s racism from her husband, Sharrieff. In a preview for Sunday’s premiere, Jen shared that she’s of Tongan and Hawaiian descent but she often confuses Utahns who think she’s black “because they don’t know any better.”
She then goes on to tell the story about how meeting her football coach husband, who is Muslim, at the University of Utah totally changed how she viewed the Mormon religion.
“I was raised Mormon and that’s all I knew until five years into my marriage and I said, ‘Hey Sharieff, why don’t you convert to Mormonism?’” Jen recalls in a preview clip. “He said, ‘Are you kidding me?! They didn’t accept Black people into the Mormon church until 1970-something.’”
Jen Shah later converted to Islam after realizing the church’s history of racist beliefs and hasn’t looked back.
What beliefs? Glad you asked.
The Atlantic reports that only up until a few decades ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught that they “shall be a white and a delightsome people,” a phrase taken from the Book of Mormon that clearly excludes black people and has ties to white purity and White Supremacy.
There is also evidence that the church prohibited black members to become ordained priests and restricted their participation in church rituals.
For what it’s worth, the Mormon Church has seemingly turned from its wicked ways and in 2018 announced an official partnership with the NAACP to help with undoing the over 150 years of damage done to African-Americans. Most recently, they released a statement condemning George Floyd’s murder and pledged to work alongside the NAACP to help quell racial injustices.
Still, it looks like Jenn Shah’s happy to be free from the church and moreover happy to support #BLM and her black family.
If you’re still curious about the religion, ladies of #RHOSLC previously explained Mormonism in a special Bravo video.
As previously reported this new housewives franchise looks GOOD and packed with drama. We’ll also meet Pentecostal Church leader Mary Cosby who made headlines when it was revealed that she married her stepgrandfather.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premieres Sunday, November 11th at 10/9c on Bravo.
Will YOU be watching??? Check out a preview clip below.