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Mar 31, 2019 at 11:54 AM

Rastafarianism

Informer: Wegen , from Religion category

Rastafarianism, a religious and cultural movement that originated in Jamaica around 1930. The movement was named after Tafari Makonnen, which was the original name of Haile Selassie I, a prince who in 1930 was crowned emperor of Ethiopia. Ras means “Lord” in the Amharic language. Selassie’s other titles included King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
The central doctrine of Rastafarianism, also known as Rasta, is that Haile Selassie is the God of the black race. This belief continued to be held even after his death in 1975. The Ras Tafari movement is thought to be a strand of the “Back to Africa” movement created by Jamaican leader Marcus Garvey after he moved to the United States and settled in New York City in 1916. Garvey preached black pride and black emancipation, and advocated a return of black Americans to Africa, their ancestral homeland, and particularly to Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to a widely believed report, Garvey told his followers in Jamaica, at his departure for the United States, “Look to Africa where a Black King shall be crowned; he shall be your redeemer.” After the coronation of Haile Selassie, many Garveyites began to search the Bible for confirmation of the prophecy. The confirmation was found in Revelation 19:16, which reads: “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” With these events the Rastafarian movement was born.
Rastafarianism is a millenarian movement emphasizing the belief that, through the power of a supernatural being, oppressed people will miraculously be led from oppression to a new heaven on Earth where all problems will be solved in peace. To believers, Haile Selassie I is the God with supreme powers; through him they look for an immediate return to Ethiopia—the promised land—and the biblical name for Africa. Rastafarians have developed an elaborate ritual system using marijuana (ganja) as a sacrament, as Christians use bread and wine. They have adopted the law of the biblical Nazarites, which prohibits the cutting of their hair. As a result, many wear their hair in long, matted locks known as dreadlocks. Rastafarians sometimes wear knitted caps of red, gold, green, and black—the colors of the Ethiopian flag, which have symbolic significance for members of the movement. They also observe Hebrew dietary laws, abstaining from certain items in their diet, and eating only those foods considered pure and untainted.

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