Rastafarianism

Rastafarian Beliefs

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Fast Facts: Rastafarian Beliefs
Overview The Judeo-Christian God, who is called Jah. In general, Rastafarian beliefs are based in Judaism and Christianity, with an emphasis on Old Testament laws and prophecies and the Book of Revelation. Jah was manifested on earth as Jesus, who Rastas believe was black, and Emperor Haile Selassie.
God(s) God is Jah, who became incarnate in Jesus (who was black); Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I was messiah.
Meaning of Life Humans are temples of Jah. Salvation is primarily in this world and consists of liberation from oppression and return to Africa.
Afterlife Some Rastas will experience "everliving" (physical immortality). Heaven is a return to Eden, which is in Africa.

Rastafarians believe in the Judeo-Christian God, whom they call Jah. In general, Rastafarian beliefs are based in Judaism and Christianity, with an emphasis on Old Testament laws and prophecies and the Book of Revelation.

Jah was manifested on earth as Jesus, who Rastas believe was black, and Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie is referred to as His Imperial Majesty or H.I.M. (pronounced "him") and believed to still be alive - his death was a hoax and he lives in protection awaiting the Day of Judgment. Selassie is worshipped as divine. (Scriptural proof texts include Revelation 5:2-5, 17:14, 19:6, 22:16, Ezekiel 30, Psalm 9, 18, 68, 76, 87:4, Isaiah 9.) Rastafarians also honor Old Testament prophets like Moses and Elijah.

Rastafarians do not believe in an afterlife, [5] but instead look to Africa (called "Zion") as a heaven on earth. True Rastas are believed to be immortal, both physically and spiritually, a concept called "everliving." An important Rastafarian concept is "I and I," which is said instead of "you and I." It emphasizes the oneness between humanity and God as well as the equality of all humans.

Another central concept is Babylon, which refers to the white power structure of Europe and the Americas. Rastas seek to resist Babylon, which once cruelly enslaved blacks and still continue to hold them down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and trickery. The greed and conceit of Babylon is contrasted with the humble simplicity and naturalness of the Rastas.

Further Reading

  • McAlister, Elizabeth A.. “Rastafari.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 17 December 2004.
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Article Info

Title Rastafarian Beliefs
Published
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/rastafarianism/beliefs
Short URLrlft.co/1909
MLA Citation “Rastafarian Beliefs.” ReligionFacts.com. 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 11 May. 2021. <religionfacts.com/rastafarianism/beliefs>