Rastafarians worship Haile Selassie I, (know as Ras [Prince] Tafari) former emperor of Ethiopia, considering him to have been the Messiah and the champion of the black race. Although he has physically ''disappeared'', followers still claim to access his presence as Jah. Rastas believe that black people are the Israelites reincarnated and have been persecuted by the white race in divine punishment for their sins. They will eventually be redeemed by exodus to Africa, their true home and heaven on earth. Rastafarian lifestyle emphasises harmony with the world, and may include a vegetarian diet, growing dreadlocks, and the smoking of ganja (marijuana). Rastafarians draw on parts of the Bible as spiritual texts.
Rastafarians acknowledge that their religion is the blending of the purest forms of both Judaism and Christianity; they also accept the Egyptian origins of both these religions. In affirming the divinity of Haile Selassie, Rastafari rejects the Babylonian hypocrisy of the modern church. The church of Rome, and even the council of Rome, are considered to be particularly Babylonian: was it not from this city that Mussolini invaded the holy land of Ethiopia in 1935? Religions always reflect the social and geographical environment out of which they emerge, and Jamaican Rastafari is no exception: for example, the use of marijuana as a sacrament and aid to meditation is logical in a country where a particularly potent strain of 'herb' grows freely.
Christian Raggae? That's an oxymoron, right?
Ex-Rastafarian Mark Mohr answers this question at the web site of his Christian raggae band, Christafari
The Rastafarian Religion
Brief description by a Rastafarian
By Watchman Fellowhip
Witnessing to Rastafarians
(Part 1 | Part 2
) By Donna F.G. Hailson
Rastafari and Other African-Caribbean Worldviews
By Barry Chevannes, of the Institute of Social Studies
(Netherlands). Academic treatment.
By Leonard E. Sr. Barrett. Enty-level academic treatment.
(Pro) Yahoogroups discussion group.
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