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The principles and lifestyle of the Rastafari. What is it? What do they believe? Is it just another form of Christianity?

Key Beliefs

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:58 pm

Here are the main and mostly common beliefs of Rastas:

1. Former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975) is worshiped as the messiah, Christ incarnate. Selassie, whose given name was Ras Tafari, claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. But despite the divinity thrust on him by Rastas, Selassie, according to Christafari's Mark Mohr, didn't call himself the messiah. "Selassie was a godly man," Mohr asserts, "and if people would truly follow his teachings, they would come to Christ."

2. Africa is the promised land, to which blacks should someday return. Rastas see Ethiopia as their Zion. Marcus Garvey, a key Rastafari leader, claimed that black people would never receive justice in white-dominated countries and urged a return to Africa.

3. Blacks are superior to other people. Rastas look with disdain on much of white Western civilization. The Pope, for example, is a symbol for slavery and religious and political repression.

4. Ganja (marijuana) is viewed as an element of sacrament. Rastas believe that smoking this potent blend of marijuana brings them closer to God and builds a sense of community.

5. Militancy. Among believers, it's an honor to kill someone who disrespects their god. Some reggae songs contain lyrics such as "kill all white people." Incidentally, reggae music is the cult's major tool for spreading its message throughout the world.

6. Reincarnation. Haile Selassie, for example, is believed to be the 72nd reincarnation of Jah, the Rastas' name for their supreme being.
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