The Rastafarian Movement

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The Rastafarian Movement has its origins during the eighteenth century; British landowners needed a large workforce and imported several African slaves to Jamaica to work on sugar plantations. These slaves fought to keep their African traditions. (Abram, Hamann, “The Rastafarian Movement”) Rastafari theology was greatly influenced by Marcus Garvey, when he began his teachings in the 1920’s, and led the “Back to Africa Movement”. In 1927 Garvey once said to his followers that their king shall be crowned in Africa. In 1930 a man named Ras Tafari Makonnen became emperor of Ethiopia; at his coronation he took the name Haile Selassi, “Might of the Trinity”. For Rastafarian’s they believed Selassi was the messiah of Garvey’s prophecy. (Rastafari, Religion Facts) In Jamaica he was considered to be an incarnation of God, he was also called Jah, a contraction of Jehovah. Thus in the 1930’s The Rastafarian Movement truly began. The movement is closely linked to Ethiopian civilization, based on interpretations Blacks made through the bible. One key part of the bible to Rastafarians is in Psalm 38, “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” (Abram, Hamann, “The Rastafarian Movement”) Rastafarian is more of a philosophy on life than a religion; Rastas do follow strict guidelines on how to live their lives but every man is allowed to express his own opinion. Some common ideology of Rastafarianism is the rejection of western civilization; such as voting, police, political institutions, medical treatments, contraception, and even marriage. Other ideas include their very strict diet referred to as “Ital.” Many believe the consumption of meat is allowing you body to turn into a cemetery. Several Rastas follow a vegan diet for religious purposes, but not all are strictly vegetarian. Some consume chicken and beef, but most avoid from
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