Free Online Bible Library | Rastafarians

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A Jamaican movement, originating in the early 1930s, placing the political pan-Africanism of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) in a mythological and messianic setting. Emperor Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari, crowned 1930) is the only true God; Ethiopia is the only heaven. While biblical texts (e.g., Rev. 5:5) are used in support, and modified Methodist and Sankey hymns regularly sung, Rastafarians denounce Christian preachers as false prophets, since the whites have perverted the Scriptures to hide the black identity of Adam, Israel, and Jesus. God's (i.e., Ras Tafari's) parousia to accomplish Black deliverance is imminent; meanwhile political activism is pointless. Rastafarians are predominantly male, bearded, and unkempt, from deprived urban areas with high unemployment. Ganja (marijuana) is greatly valued, and its use ascribed to Solomon. The movement seems to have gained no tangible results from a tour of African states in 1961 or the more recent visit of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie to Jamaica.

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