Rastafarianism is an African based spiritual ideology that arose in the 1930’s reflecting is origin in Jamaica and Ethiopia. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia who ruled between 1930-1974.Its members are known as Rastas or the Rastafari. It developed among the poor and oppressed Jamaicans of African origin who experienced a society which was not sympathetic to their problems. They find the term Rastafarianism as derogatory and offensive, being highly critical of “ISM” which they see as typical part of “Babylon” (modern western) culture( Encyclopedia o African &African-American religions p.263 by Stephen d. glazier).
The name Rastafari, is taken from the title and first name of Haile selassie before his coronation i.e Ras Tafari Makonnen. Ras means head and Tafari is the equivalent of “a hero” or “one to be feared”. The Rastas see Haile Selassie I as Jah rastafari, Jah being the poetic or biblical name of God from a shortened form Jahweh found in Psalms 68:4, an incarnation of God or for some the second coming of Jesus Christ. They believe that he will lead the righteous into creating a perfect world called zion-Ultimate paradise. They also believe that his coming was prophesied all through the bible e.g. In psalms, “yet I set my holy king on my holy hill of Zion”. Haile Selassie I was the 225th in an unbroken line of Ethiopian monarchs of the Solomonic dynasty and upon his coronation was awarded 38 titles and anointments taken from the Bible. He was also acclaimed by Christians and Muslim leaders for his efforts towards world peace. Some rastas believe his death was a hoax and that he entered a monastery and will one day return to liberate his people.
Rasta are monotheists ,believing that God created the universe and all that is in it and follow many Jewish and Christian beliefs and accept the...