Rastafarians

Rastafarians

The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is an Abrahamic spiritual movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), some as Jesus incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus, others as God the Father. Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari. The movement is sometimes referred to as "Rastafarianism", but this term is considered derogatory and offensive by some Rastas, who, being highly critical of "isms" (which they see as a typical part of "Babylon culture"), dislike being labelled as an "ism" themselves.

The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the pre-regnal title of Haile Selassie I, composed of Amharic Ras (literally "Head", an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke), and Haile Selassie's pre-regnal given name, Tafari or "Teferi", which in Amharic means a man who is to be feared, or a hero. Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia, is another incarnation of the Christian God, called Jah. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, who is the second coming of Jesus Christ onto the earth, but to others he is simply God's chosen king on earth.

Many elements of Rastafari reflect its origins in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture. Rastafari holds to many Jewish and Christian beliefs and accepts the existence of a single god, called Jah, who has incarnated on Earth in the form of Jesus and Selassie. Rastafari accept much of the Bible, although they believe that its message has been corrupted.

The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of the degenerate society of materialism, oppression, and sensual pleasures, called Babylon. It proclaims Zion, as reference to Ethiopia, the original birthplace of humankind, and from the beginning of the movement calls to repatriation to Zion, the Promised Land and Heaven on Earth. Rasta also embraces various Afrocentric and Pan-African social and political aspirations.

Rastafari is not a highly organized religion; it is a movement and an ideology. Many Rastas say that it is not a "religion" at all, but a "Way of Life". Many Rastas do not claim any sect or denomination, and thus encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves, although some do identify strongly with one of the "Mansions of Rastafari"—the three most prominent of these being the Nyahbinghi, the Bobo Ashanti and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

By the late twentieth century, awareness of the Rastafari movement had spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music, especially the major international success of Jamaican singer/songwriters Peter Tosh (1944-1987) and Bob Marley (1945–1981). By 1997 there were, according to one estimate, around one million Rastafari faithful worldwide. In the 2001 Jamaican census, 24,020 individuals (less than 1 percent of the population) identified themselves as Rastafari. Other sources estimated that in the 2000s they formed "about 5 percent of the population" of Jamaica, or conjectured that "there are perhaps as many as 100,000 Rastafarians in Jamaica".

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Other articles related to "rastafarians, rastafarian":

Rastafari Movement In The United States - Rastafarian Community Building
... With Rastafarians unable to bring themselves to Zion until the day of repatriation, they decided to bring Zion to their home, which for more and more Rastafarians was ... As Jamaican Rastafarians began to immigrate to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, small, localized, and homogeneous Rastafarian communities began to spring up across the country ... Specifically in New York City, six different Rastafarian communities exist in five different boroughs ...
Rivers Of Babylon - Background
... In the Rastafarian faith, the term "Babylon" is used for any governmental system which is either oppressive or unjust ... In Jamaica, Rastafarians also use "Babylon" to refer to the police, often seen as a source of oppression because they arrest members for the use of marijuana (which ... Rastafarians also identify themselves as belonging to the Twelve Tribes of Israel ...
Amharic Language - Rastafarians
... Many Rastafarians learn Amharic as a second language, as they consider it to be a sacred language ... in Amharic were organized in Jamaica—a sort of Rastafarian parallel to the contemporary movement for civil rights in the United States ... It was also a function of the post-colonial, Pan-African identity and Rastafarian awareness sweeping the ghetto after Haile Selassie’s 1966 visit to the island ...
Rastafari Movement - Rastafari Around The World - United Kingdom
... to the 2001 United Kingdom Census there are 5000 Rastafarian people living in England and Wales, the majority of whom live in London and are of Jamaican origin ... The Facebook group "Rastafarians and Friends of Fairfield House" keeps members up to date with goings on there ... While events attract Rastafarians from around the UK, much of the core membership are drawn from areas of Bristol, where there is a growing number of ...
Rastafari Movement In The United States - Rastafarian Community Building - The Process
... All Rastafarian communities must undergo the community building process, which begins small, and then grows larger ... The initial part of the community consists of extremely small Rastafarian centers, where Rastas go out of convenience, but not necessarily to congregate with other Rastafarians ... Examples of such centers are smoking yards or weed gates, where Rastafarians go to smoke ganja, or marijuana, which they believe purifies the soul and brings one ...

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