Rastafarianisme

Rastafarianisme


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Bangkit dari percambahan Etiopia dan Pan-Afrikaisme, Rastafarianisme berakar di Jamaica berikutan penobatan Kaisar Ethiopia Haile Selassie I pada tahun 1930. Sebuah gerakan spiritual berdasarkan kepercayaan pada ketuhanan Selassie, para pengikutnya berkumpul di sekitar pendakwah seperti Leonard Howell, yang mengasaskan komuniti Rastafarian terkemuka pertama pada tahun 1940. Cabang-cabang tambahan muncul pada tahun 1950-an, dan dalam dua dekad gerakan ini mendapat perhatian global berkat muzik Rastafarian Bob Marley yang setia. Walaupun kematian Selassie pada tahun 1975 dan Marley pada tahun 1981 melenyapkan tokoh-tokohnya yang paling berpengaruh, Rastafarianisme bertahan melalui kejadian di Amerika Syarikat, England, Afrika dan Caribbean.

Latar belakang Rastafarianisme


Akar Rastafarianisme dapat ditelusuri hingga abad ke-18, ketika Etiopia dan gerakan-gerakan lain yang menekankan Afrika yang ideal mulai mula berlaku di kalangan hamba-hamba kulit hitam di Amerika. Bagi mereka yang telah masuk agama Kristian, Alkitab memberikan harapan melalui petikan seperti Mazmur 68:31, yang menubuatkan bagaimana "Pangeran akan keluar dari Mesir dan Ethiopia akan segera menghulurkan tangannya kepada Tuhan."

Etos itu diperkuat melalui kebangkitan gerakan Pan-Afrika moden pada akhir abad ke-19 dan khususnya ajaran Marcus Garvey kelahiran Jamaica, yang dilaporkan mengatakan kepada pengikutnya untuk "Lihat ke Afrika di mana raja hitam akan dinobatkan, dia akan menjadi Penebus. " Selain itu, tahun 1920-an membawa teks proto-Rastafarian yang berpengaruh seperti "The Holy Piby" dan "The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy ke Jamaica."

Haile Selassie dan Kebangkitan Rastafarianisme


Pada 2 November 1930, Ras Tafari Makonnen dinobatkan sebagai Maharaja Haile Selassie I dari Ethiopia. Diyakini sebagai keturunan Raja Sulaiman dan Ratu Sheba, Selassie mengambil alih gelaran Raja Raja, Tuan Penguasa dan Singa Penakluk dari Suku Yehuda, untuk beberapa memenuhi ramalan Alkitab tentang raja hitam yang telah ditekankan oleh Garvey.

Para pendakwah Jamaica mula mempromosikan kekuasaan Selassie yang berkuasa atas Raja George V (Jamaica ketika itu adalah jajahan Inggeris) dan pada pertengahan 1930-an maharaja Ethiopia dianggap oleh pengikut sebagai perwujudan hidup Tuhan. Walaupun tidak ada gereja pusat resmi yang terwujud, puak-puak pemula Rastafarianisme menemukan kesamaan melalui kepercayaan mereka terhadap keturunan yang berasal dari bangsa Israel kuno, keunggulan kulit hitam dan pemulangan diaspora dari tanah "Babylon" yang menindas ke Afrika. Pergerakan mereka mencerminkan berbagai pengaruh, termasuk petunjuk Perjanjian Lama untuk menghindari makanan tertentu dan kepercayaan tempatan terhadap kekuatan ganja rohani.

Pengkhotbah seperti Robert Hinds, Joseph Hibbert dan Archibald Dunkley berjaya mendapat perhatian dalam dekad ini, tetapi bagi banyak sarjana tokoh terpenting dalam Rastafarianisme awal adalah Leonard Howell. Seorang bekas anggota Persatuan Peningkatan Negro Universal Garvey, Howell menarik banyak pengikut setelah kembali dari perjalanan yang luas ke Jamaica pada tahun 1932, dan menggariskan prinsip-prinsip gerakan yang baru lahir dengan penerbitan "The Promise Key" sekitar tahun 1935.

Dianggap sebagai tokoh berbahaya dan subversif oleh pemerintah Jamaika, Howell ditangkap beberapa kali dan pengikutnya mengalami penganiayaan. Walaupun begitu, dia menubuhkan Ethiopian Salvation Society (ESS) pada tahun 1939, dan pada tahun berikutnya dia membuat komuniti Rasta yang dikenali sebagai Pinnacle.

Terletak di pergunungan Saint Catherine, Pinnacle menjadi komuniti autonomi bagi ribuan yang menanam ganja untuk sesi kerohanian dan kelangsungan ekonominya. Namun, ketergantungannya pada tanaman haram juga memberikan alasan bagi pihak berkuasa untuk menindak masyarakat, dan penduduk Pinnacle mengalami serangkaian serangan. Pada bulan Mei 1954, polis menangkap lebih daripada 100 penduduk dan menghancurkan 3 tan ganja, dengan berkesan menghapuskan komun.

Perkembangan Baru


Pada akhir tahun 1940-an, versi radikal Rastafarianisme, yang dikenali sebagai Pemuda Black Faith, muncul dari kawasan kumuh di ibukota Jamaica, Kingston. Sebagai pendahulu kepada Nyahbinghi Mansion, atau cabang yang ada, Youth Black Faith terkenal dengan sikap agresif terhadap pihak berkuasa. Selain itu, mereka memperkenalkan beberapa ciri yang banyak dikaitkan dengan Rastafarian, termasuk pertumbuhan rambut menjadi rambut gimbal dan dialek unik kumpulan itu.

Walaupun dia dilaporkan menolak penggambaran Rastafarian tentang dirinya sebagai dewa, Kaisar Selassie pada tahun 1948 nampaknya merangkul perjuangan mereka dengan menyumbangkan 500 ekar untuk pembangunan sebuah komuniti Ethiopia bernama Shashamane. Pemberian tanah yang disahkan pada tahun 1955, Shashamane menawarkan kesempatan kepada orang-orang Jamaica dan orang kulit hitam lainnya untuk memenuhi harapan lama mereka yang ingin kembali ke tanah air.

Selama dua dekad berikutnya, cabang tambahan Rastafarianisme mendapat pengikut setia. Pada tahun 1958, Putera Emanuel Charles Edwards membuat Kongres Antarabangsa Ethiopia, atau Bobo Ashanti, yang menganggap pemisahan dari masyarakat dan undang-undang gender dan diet yang ketat. Pada tahun 1968, Dua Belas Suku Israel didirikan oleh Vernon Carrington, alias Nabi Gad, yang menganjurkan pembacaan Alkitab setiap hari dan menekankan silsilah kumpulan itu.

Penerimaan di Jamaica


Walaupun babak baru sejarah Jamaika dimulakan dengan kemerdekaannya secara rasmi dari England pada tahun 1962, sikap negatif dan penindasan pemerintah terhadap Rastafari tetap ada. Kejadian yang paling terkenal berlaku pada hari yang dikenali sebagai "Bad Friday" pada bulan April 1963, ketika polis menangkap dan memukul sekitar 150 orang Rastafarian yang tidak bersalah sebagai tindak balas terhadap serangan militan di sebuah stesen minyak.

Kunjungan Maharaja Selassie pada bulan April 1966 nampaknya memupuk persepsi yang lebih baik di kalangan orang-orang yang tidak percaya, walaupun masih ada saat-saat buruk, seperti keterlibatan Rastafarian dalam rusuhan tahun 1968 mengenai larangan profesor dan aktivis Walter Rodney. Menjelang awal tahun 1970-an, jelas bahawa gerakan ini telah mengakar di kalangan pemuda Jamaica. Ini ditegaskan oleh kejayaan kempen presiden 1972 pemimpin Parti Nasional Rakyat, Michael Manley, yang membawa "tongkat pembetulan" yang diberikan kepadanya oleh Kaisar Selassie dan menggunakan dialek Rasta pada tunjuk perasaan.

Muzik, Bob Marley dan Globalisasi


Walaupun amalan Rastafarian menyebar dengan migrasi orang Jamaica ke England, Kanada dan Amerika Syarikat dari tahun 1950-an hingga 1970-an, pertumbuhannya di seluruh dunia dibantu oleh pengaruh penganut muzik popular. Penyumbang awal dalam bidang ini adalah Count Ossie, yang mulai bermain drum pada sesi spiritual Nyahbinghi dan membantu mengembangkan gaya yang menjadi terkenal sebagai ska.

Kemudian, gerakan itu menemui duta besarnya yang paling penting di Bob Marley. Seorang mualaf ke Rastafari dan pengasas muzik reggae, Marley yang karismatik tanpa ragu-ragu merujuk kepercayaannya dalam lagu-lagunya, mencapai pujian yang meluas pada tahun 1970-an melalui tema persaudaraan, penindasan dan penebusan yang menarik secara universal. Marley melakukan lawatan meluas, membawa suaranya ke Eropah, Afrika dan A.S., sambil menjadi budak lelaki untuk tujuan Rastafarian.

Sementara itu, populariti Rastafarianisme yang semakin meningkat di kalangan orang yang berlainan bangsa dan budaya menyebabkan perubahan dalam beberapa kodnya yang lebih ketat. Buku tahun 1970-an "Dread: the Rastafarians of Jamaica," oleh paderi Katolik Roma dan pekerja sosial Joseph Owens, menyoroti beberapa cabaran yang dihadapi oleh gerakan ini, dengan beberapa mazhab memilih untuk menekankan pentingnya keunggulan hitam yang mendukung mesej kesetaraan.

Rastafarianisme moden


Titik balik untuk Rastafarianisme datang pada tahun 1975, ketika Kaisar Selassie meninggal dan memaksa pengikutnya untuk menghadapi percanggahan dewa yang masih hidup. Pada tahun 1981, pergerakan itu kehilangan tokoh utama kedua dengan kematian Marley akibat barah.

Selalu menjadi kepercayaan dan budaya yang terdesentralisasi, Rastafari berusaha memperkenalkan elemen penyatuan dengan serangkaian persidangan antarabangsa pada tahun 1980-an dan 90-an. Perpecahan yang lebih kecil, seperti Kesatuan Afrika, Covenant Rastafari dan Gereja Selassia, muncul sekitar pergantian milenium, tempoh yang sama yang membawa pemergian pemimpin lama Putera Emanuel Charles Edwards (1994) dan Nabi Gad (2005).

Pada tahun 2012, dianggarkan terdapat sekitar 1 juta orang Rastafari di seluruh dunia. Tradisi ini terus berlanjut di masyarakat di A.S., England, Afrika, Asia dan Jamaika, di mana pemerintah telah memilih banyak simbolisme melalui usaha memasarkan pelancongan. Berusaha untuk menebus kesalahan di masa lalu, pemerintah Jamaica mendekriminalisasi ganja pada tahun 2015, dan pada tahun 2017 Perdana Menteri Andrew Holness secara resmi meminta maaf kepada Rastafarians atas bencana Coral Gardens.


Kepercayaan dan Amalan Rastafari

Rastafari adalah gerakan agama baru Abrahamik yang menerima Haile Selassie I, maharaja Ethiopia dari tahun 1930 hingga 1974 sebagai Tuhan yang menjelma dan Mesias yang akan menyerahkan orang-orang percaya ke Tanah Perjanjian, yang dikenal oleh Rastas sebagai Ethiopia. Ia berakar pada gerakan pemerkasaan Hitam dan gerakan kembali ke Afrika. Ia berasal dari Jamaica, dan pengikutnya terus tertumpu di sana, walaupun populasi Rastas yang lebih kecil dapat dijumpai di banyak negara hari ini.

Rastafari berpegang pada banyak kepercayaan Yahudi dan Kristian. Rastas menerima kewujudan dewa triune tunggal, yang disebut Jah, yang telah berinkarnasi di bumi beberapa kali, termasuk dalam bentuk Yesus. Mereka menerima banyak Alkitab, walaupun mereka percaya bahawa pesannya telah lama dirusak oleh Babilon, yang biasanya dikenal dengan budaya putih, Barat. Secara khusus, mereka menerima ramalan dalam Kitab Wahyu mengenai kedatangan kedua Mesias, yang mereka yakini telah terjadi dalam bentuk Selassie. Sebelum penobatannya, Selassie dikenal sebagai Ras Tafari Makonnen, dari mana gerakan itu mengambil namanya.


Rastafarianisme - SEJARAH

Agama ini menubuhkan penubuhannya kepada Marcus Garvey (lahir pada tahun 1887), yang ideologi falsafahnya menjadi pemangkin yang akhirnya akan berkembang menjadi gerakan Rastafarian pada tahun 1930. Rastafarianisme sering dikaitkan dengan penduduk Jamaica yang miskin kulit hitam. Bukan hanya agama bagi mereka tetapi cara hidup, perjuangan untuk hak dan kebebasan mereka.

Pada awal tahun 1920-an, Garvey seorang jurucakap kulit hitam yang berpengaruh adalah pengasas gerakan & quotback-to-Africa & quot. Dia bercakap mengenai penebusan orang kulit hitam melalui raja Afrika hitam masa depan.

& quotTiada kaum mempunyai kata terakhir mengenai budaya dan peradaban. Anda tidak tahu apa yang mampu dilakukan oleh orang kulit hitam sehingga anda tidak tahu apa yang dia fikirkan dan oleh itu anda tidak tahu apa yang boleh diberikan oleh Negro yang ditindas dan ditindas, berdasarkan keadaan dan keadaannya, yang mengejutkan dunia. & Quot (Ucapan, 6 Jun 1928, Royal Albert Hall, London. Dipetik di Adolph Edwards, Marcus GarveySementara Garvey berusaha memberi orang kulit hitam sebagai tempat yang tepat, dia membalikkan peranan kaum. Garvey menyebut agama kulit putih sebagai penolakan budaya hitam, dengan menegaskan bahawa orang kulit hitam mesti meninggalkan & quotBabylon & quot (dunia Barat) dan kembali ke tanah air mereka di Afrika. Konvensyen antarabangsa Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) pertama dibuka di Liberty Hall di New York & # 146s Harlem di bawah pimpinan Marcus Garvey. 25,000 perwakilan dari 25 negara hadir. Garvey mula memuliakan kecantikan Afrika dan mempromosikan kempen "balik ke Afrika" dengan rancangan penempatan semula di Liberia (Liberia adalah jajahan Afrika pertama yang mendapat kemerdekaan) Dia mempromosikan syarikat kapal uap yang akan menyediakan pengangkutan bagi orang kulit hitam untuk kembali ke Afrika. Pada tahun 1920 Liberia menolak rancangan Marcus Garvey untuk penempatan semula orang kulit hitam A.S., kerana takut motifnya adalah untuk mendorong revolusi. Garvey dihukum pada tahun berikutnya kerana melakukan penipuan di Black Star Steamship Co. yang kini telah muflis yang diasaskannya, Presiden Coolidge menjatuhkan hukuman 5 tahun. Garvey kemudian dideportasi kembali ke Jamaica pada tahun 1927. (rujukan digunakan: The People chronology.)

Rastas percaya bahawa semua orang di dunia sama, diikat oleh satu tuhan, Jah. Mereka juga percaya bahawa nenek moyang mereka menyinggung Jah dalam beberapa cara, yang menjadikan mereka menjadi pengasingan perbudakan di Jamaica. Bagi mereka orang kulit hitam masih ditekan melalui kemiskinan dan buta huruf dan tertipu oleh sistem orang kulit putih, iaitu Babilon.

Pada tahun 1927 Garvey mengisytiharkan, & quot; Mencari Afrika untuk dinobatkan sebagai Raja Hitam, dia akan menjadi Penebus & quot (The Rastafarians, hlm. 67). Beberapa tahun kemudian ramalannya dianggap dipenuhi oleh raja baru Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.

Hale Selassie nampaknya sangat berpendidikan dan bukan Rastafarian, dan ada yang mendakwa ada bukti bahawa dia adalah seorang Kristian yang taat (Coptic Christian).

Tidak ada pernyataan tentang apa yang dia fikirkan tentang seluruh gerakan Rastafarian. Namun, dia mengatakan: & quot; Manusia hari ini melihat semua harapan dan cita-citanya hancur di hadapannya. Dia bingung dan tidak tahu ke mana dia melayang. Tetapi dia harus menyedari bahawa jalan keluar dari kesulitan dan bimbingannya sekarang untuk tindakan masa depannya adalah Alkitab. Kecuali dia menerima dengan hati nurani yang jelas Alkitab dan pesannya yang agung, dia tidak akan bisa berharap untuk keselamatan. Untuk diri saya sendiri, Saya memuliakan dalam Alkitab. & quot (Selassie I)

Pada 2 November 1930, Ras Tafari Makonnen dinobatkan sebagai raja Ethiopia, raja raja di Addis Ababa. Setelah pertabalannya, dia menuntut sendiri gelaran & # 39; Kaisar Haile Selassie I (Kekuatan Triniti suci), Menakluki Singa Suku Yehuda, Pilihan Tuhan dan Raja Raja-raja Ethiopia. & Quot (Singa Yehuda mewakili Haile Selassie, Penakluk, Raja Raja sebagai singa, raja semua binatang ada yang menerapkannya pada gerakan yang dominan). Sebilangan orang Rastafari percaya bahawa Alkitab mengajarkan bahawa Tuhan adalah roh yang ditunjukkan dan diwakili oleh Raja, H.I.M. (Maharaja Haile Selassie I). Banyak yang mendakwa dia adalah mesiah (putra) dalam mazmur 2, di mana bangsa-bangsa Babel bersekongkol menentangnya. Bagi mereka yang sedang menunggu pembebasan, mereka melihat Kaisar baru sebagai pemenuhan proklamasi Garvey. (khususnya Joseph Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley, Leanord Howell dan Robert Hind mempercayai hal ini).

Dia dilaporkan keturunan ke-225 dan pemelihara Dinasti Salomo, yang berasal dari keturunan Ratu Sheba dan Raja Salomo. Takhta-Nya mewakili takhta Tuhan di bumi, yang didirikan oleh perjanjian antara Tuhan dan Raja Daud seperti yang tercatat dalam Perjanjian Lama (2 Samuel 7). Tuhan telah berjanji bahawa melalui keturunan Daud, suku Yehuda, Dia akan mendirikan Kerajaan-Nya yang dijanjikan di bumi, yang akan menjadi terang bagi dunia. Umatnya akan dikembalikan ke tanah mereka dan tidak lagi mereka akan menderita.

Sayangnya gelaran-gelaran ini sudah menjadi milik orang yang layak mendapatkannya dan telah membuktikan dirinya, Tuhan Yesus Kristus. Dalam Yes.9: 6 anak yang dilahirkan adalah anak dara Isa.7: 14, Mik.5: 2 dan dia berasal dari kekekalan, Tuhan sendiri, penciptanya. Anak inilah, satu-satunya Putra Allah yang dilahirkan, yang akan memiliki kerajaan yang kekal. Dia akan mati kerana dosa-dosa dunia dan dibangkitkan semula (Kis.2: 22-36) Kitab suci menjelaskan bahawa akan menjadi mesiah, Yesus Kristus, yang akan duduk di takhta Daud bukan seorang lelaki melainkan Tuhan / manusia.

Ketika gerakan Rastafarian berkembang, orang Ibrani mengenal pasti orang kulit hitam. Tuhan dikenali dengan orang kulit hitam, dan kepercayaan Kristian bukan lagi monopoli mubaligh kulit putih. Sebarang rujukan ke Ethiopia dalam Alkitab sangat penting bagi gerakan ini. Rastas percaya bahawa Selassie adalah Yesus sejati yang terdapat dalam agama Kristian. Bahawa lelaki kulit putih menipu dunia untuk mempercayai bahawa dia bukan orang kulit hitam. Leonard Howell mengajarkan kebencian orang Rastafari terhadap bangsa kulit putih, dan bahawa orang kulit putih lebih rendah. Ini adalah tindak balas yang berlebihan terhadap penindasan. Pengajaran merangkumi idea bahawa syaitan sebenarnya adalah dewa lelaki Putih dan bangsa hitam lebih unggul. Maharaja Haile Selassie harus diakui sebagai Maha Tinggi dan satu-satunya penguasa orang kulit hitam. (persamaan dengan Bangsa Islam terserlah di beberapa kawasan.)

Orang Ibrani bukan dari bangsa hitam tetapi orang Semit. Abraham berasal dari Mesopotamia: dia tidak berkulit hitam. Dan Alkitab menunjukkan bahawa Musa mengahwini Zipporah, yang merupakan seorang wanita Ethiopia. Kisah 17:26 memberitahu kita bahawa Tuhan telah membuat dari satu darah setiap bangsa manusia. Di dalam Kristus tidak ada warna hitam, putih, coklat, atau merah. Wahyu 5: 9 memberitahu kita bahawa Tuhan telah menebus kita dengan darah anaknya dari setiap suku, lidah, bangsa dan negara. Alkitab mengajar bahawa tidak ada bangsa yang lebih unggul daripada bangsa lain (Gal. 3:28 Kol. 3:11). Mengajar sebaliknya adalah bertentangan dengan tulisan suci dan ajaran Yesus Kristus. Dia mengumpulkan semua orang untuk menjadi satu dalam dirinya, baik Yahudi dan bukan Yahudi, hitam, putih, merah, dan kuning dll.

Haile Selassie mengunjungi Jamaica pada 21 April 1966. Ini menjadi peristiwa bersejarah penting dalam gerakan Rastafarian. Selassie meyakinkan saudara-saudara Rastafarian bahawa mereka & quot; tidak akan berusaha untuk berhijrah ke Ethiopia sehingga mereka telah membebaskan orang-orang Jamaica. & Quot (The Rastafarians, hlm. 158, 160). Rastafarian terus meraikan 21 April sebagai hari suci yang istimewa kerana lawatannya. Salah satu doktrin utama Rastafarian adalah harapan mereka bahawa suatu hari mereka akan kembali ke Afrika, & quot; Sion yang akan dikembalikan kepada mereka setelah berabad-abad di Diaspora. & Quot; Banyak Rastas percaya bahawa Ethiopia adalah tanah yang dijanjikan mereka, surga di bumi.

Rastafari percaya, & quotGod mengungkapkan dirinya sebagai orang Musa, yang merupakan avatar atau penyelamat pertama. Avatar kedua ialah Elijah. Avatar ketiga ialah Yesus Kristus. Sekarang kedatangan Ras Tafari adalah klimaks dari wahyu Tuhan. & Quot (The Rastafarians, p. 112) Sebilangan Rastas percaya Haile Selasie adalah tuhan yang Maha Kuasa, (dewa yang mati bukan kerana dosa tetapi kerana dosa!) Mereka menyembahnya sebagai Tuhan yang hidup. Ada yang percaya bahawa dia adalah kedatangan Kristus yang kedua yang dinubuatkan dalam Alkitab. (Tidak ada kerajaan yang dibentuk, dan dia tidak akan menjadi orang yang dapat mengalahkan kejahatan dan menghakimi bangsa-bangsa.) Ada yang percaya dia seperti Kristus, menelusuri keturunannya kepada Kristus. Mereka bahkan mengajar bahawa Yesus meramalkan kedatangan Haile Selassie (The Rastafarians, hlm. 106). Orang-orang Rastafari menunjuk pada kitab suci, mengatakan bahawa ia menubuatkan dia sebagai rambut yang kepalanya seperti bulu (ini adalah rambut kusut dari orang kulit hitam saya) yang kakinya seperti tembaga yang terbakar (kulit hitam), & quot (Wahyu 1 : 14-15). Kepalanya dan rambut berwarna putih seperti bulu, seputih salji, dan matanya seperti nyala api, Kakinya seperti tembaga halus, seolah-olah diperhalusi di dalam tungku, dan suaranya seperti suara banyak air. & quot; Merujuk pada zaman kuno di Daniel. Dan. 7: 9: & quot; Aku memerhatikan hingga takhta-singgasana diletakkan, dan orang-orang kuno duduk, pakaiannya berwarna putih seperti salji, dan rambut kepalanya seperti bulu tulen. Takhta-Nya adalah api yang menyala-nyala, rodanya menyala-nyala. & Quot; Ini adalah penglihatan Tuhan pencipta di surga, Selassie hampir tidak layak kerana mengatakan orang ini adalah kuno zaman, sebuah ungkapan untuk mengatakan bahawa dia adalah yang kekal.

Pada tahun 1974 Selassie digulingkan oleh kudeta tentera, dan (menurut Ensiklopedia ringkas Columbia) pada 27 Ogos 1975, Haile Selassie meninggal dalam keadaan misteri. Ketika Selassie meninggal, banyak Rastas tidak dapat menerimanya pada mulanya. Kematiannya mendorong rasionalisasi dari Rastafarian. ada yang percaya bahawa itu adalah tipu muslihat media yang menganggap kematiannya sebagai rekaan. Sebilangan Rastas percaya bahawa Rastas sejati tidak kekal, dan ketuhanan Selassie tidak mati bersamanya. Untuk menjelaskan kematiannya, ada yang mengatakan bahawa atomnya tersebar ke seluruh dunia dan menjadi sebahagian daripada bayi yang baru lahir, sehingga hidupnya tidak pernah berakhir. Kepercayaan semasa adalah bahawa Ras Tafari hidup melalui Rastafari individu. Kumpulan yang mengaku setia kepada Ras Tafari adalah Gereja Koptik Zion Ethiopia dan Persekutuan Dunia Ethiopia (bukan di gereja Koptik Ethiopia).

Dalam gerakan ini mereka mempunyai perbendaharaan kata mereka sendiri. Saya dan saya merujuk kepada Tuhan secara keseluruhan atau persaudaraan umat manusia. Oleh kerana semua orang benar-benar sama dan terikat oleh satu tuhan, Jah, kita tidak boleh menggunakan anda dan saya. Sepertinya ada konflik antara mesej muzik mereka tentang kesatuan umat manusia, dan yang lain yang berpegang pada mesej asal Garvey dan orang kulit hitam. Pada dasarnya gerakan itu bermaksud hak dan keadilan yang sama.

Terdapat 250,000 Rastafarian di Jamaica dan Caribbean. Keahlian mereka sekarang lebih dari 700,000 (pada tahun 1988), walaupun lebih banyak percubaan dengan gaya hidupnya dan dipengaruhi olehnya lebih banyak daripada mereka yang benar-benar bergabung. T-shirt, dan pelekat bumper terus mempromosikan gerakan yang mempunyai muzik Reggae yang membawa mesejnya ke seluruh dunia.


Rastafari menggunakan ganja sebagai sebahagian daripada agama mereka. Semasa & # 8220Sesi Penalaran & # 8221 mereka merokok bersama dan membincangkan isu-isu dalam komuniti. Setiap perjumpaan juga mempunyai perayaan besar selepas itu.

Muzik agama rasmi Rastafari adalah Nyabingi. Gaya muzik ini adalah gabungan muzik Injil abad ke-19 dengan gendang tradisional Afrika. Ini juga mengingatkan pada muzik Burru, yang dinyanyikan oleh hamba Jamaica satu sama lain untuk menjaga semangat mereka. Muzik biasanya dimainkan semasa orang merokok dan bercakap semasa Sesi Penalaran.


Asal budaya dan agama Rastafarian

Oleh

Gerakan Rastafarian bermula di Jamaica di kalangan orang kulit hitam kelas pekerja pada tahun 1930-an. Ini bermula sebahagiannya sebagai pendirian sosial terhadap orang kulit putih dan kelas menengah, yang dilihat oleh kaum Rastafarian sebagai penindas.

Di antara rungutan mereka, Rastafarian percaya bahawa dengan dibawa ke Caribbean oleh pedagang hamba, mereka telah dirompak dari warisan Afrika mereka, yang mereka berusaha untuk merebut kembali dan merayakannya.

Gerakan Rastafarian menganggap Alkitab sebagai teks suci, tetapi menafsirkannya dengan cara Afro-centric untuk membalikkan apa yang dilihat oleh Rastas sebagai perubahan yang dibuat pada teks oleh kuasa putih.

Gerakan ini diambil sebagai ketua spiritualnya, Haile Selassie I, bekas Kaisar Ethiopia, yang dipuji kerana menjadi pemimpin kulit hitam di tengah-tengah Afrika. Bagi mereka dia menjadi Jah, yang suatu hari akan memimpin orang-orang asal Afrika ke Tanah Perjanjian.

Seperti kerohanian mana pun, Rastas mempunyai kepercayaan, simbol dan tradisi mereka sendiri tetapi tidak ada kepercayaan Rastafarian formal dan terdapat sedikit perbezaan pandangan dari kumpulan yang berbeza.

Mereka percaya bahawa Haile Selassie adalah Dewa yang Hidup orang hitam adalah reinkarnasi Israel kuno, yang, di tangan orang Putih, telah diasingkan di Jamaica.

Rastafari menganggap "Jamaica sebagai neraka Ethiopia adalah surga, Kaisar Ethiopia yang tak terkalahkan sekarang mengatur agar orang-orang ekspatriat yang berasal dari Afrika kembali ke Ethiopia dan dalam waktu dekat Blacks akan memerintah dunia."

Mereka percaya bahawa Tuhan dijumpai di dalam setiap manusia dengan menekankan bahawa dia menyatakan dirinya kepada pengikutnya melalui kemanusiaannya.

Menurut Tuff Gong Isimbi, (28) salah seorang Rastafari di Kigali, keselamatan bagi Rastafari adalah idea duniawi, bukan surgawi.

"Sifat manusia sangat penting bagi kami dan kami melakukan apa sahaja untuk memelihara dan melindunginya," kata Isimbi.

Dia menyebut bahawa Rastafarian adalah umat Tuhan yang terpilih dan berada di bumi untuk mempromosikan kekuatan dan kedamaian-Nya.

Isimbi menyatakan bahawa kepercayaan sebelumnya bahawa orang kulit putih jahat telah berkurang dan tidak lagi menjadi pusat sistem kepercayaan Rastafarian.

Kekurangan Dread
Mereka mempunyai beberapa makna. Pertama, mereka adalah bahagian dari sumpah Nazarene alkitabiah, yang melarang mencukur dan menyikat rambut.

Tetapi bukan dreadlocks yang membuat seseorang menjadi rastaman, dan beberapa Rastas tidak memakai dreadlock.

Kunci, kerana penampilannya, melambangkan akar lelaki itu, dan kerohaniannya, hubungan dengan Jah.

Ganja
Ini menandakan penyembuhan bangsa-bangsa, juga dikenal sebagai rami, ganja, atau ganja dan, digunakan sebagai sakramen suci oleh Rastas dalam banyak cara.

Rastas merokok ramuan untuk bermeditasi, melambangkan semak yang terbakar, dan untuk sifat penyembuhannya iaitu asma. Herba boleh dimakan atau disuntik.

Bendera Rasta
Bendera terdiri daripada tiga warna, merah, kuning dan hijau. Merah melambangkan darah orang kulit hitam, kuning emas yang dicuri dan hijau tanah yang hilang di Afrika.

Bendera Rasta juga dapat dilihat semasa perayaan koptik di Ethiopia. Warna-warna ini juga ada di bendera Senegal, dari mana ribuan budak dideportasi, melintasi Pulau Goree.

Bintang Daud
Ini melambangkan hubungan antara Haile Selassie dan Daud Raja Israel dan juga Rasta menganggap diri mereka seperti orang Israel dalam pengasingan di Babel. Bintang Daud adalah simbol Israel.

Menakluki Singa dan Anak Domba
Mereka berdua melambangkan Haile Selassie menurut Revelations dan pembukaan tujuh meterai. Mereka adalah dua wajah dengan realiti yang sama, Alpha dan Omega.

Kematian Haile Selassie pada tahun 1975 digambarkan oleh pengikutnya sebagai 'kehilangannya', kerana mereka enggan mempercayai dia meninggal dunia.

Walaupun beberapa orang Rastafarian masih menganggapnya sebagai mesiah hitam, banyak penganut moden tidak melihat ini sebagai pusat kepercayaan mereka.

Pada masa ini, dipercayai terdapat lebih dari satu juta orang Rastafari di seluruh dunia. Sebilangan tinggal di komune, yang berganda sebagai kuil, di mana Alkitab dipelajari dan doa-doa ditawarkan.


Kepercayaan Rastafarian moden

Kepercayaan Rastafarian moden

Dari tahun 1930-an hingga pertengahan 1970-an, kebanyakan orang Rastafari menerima kepercayaan tradisional Rastafari.

Tetapi pada tahun 1973 Joseph Owens menerbitkan pendekatan yang lebih moden untuk kepercayaan Rastafari. Pada tahun 1991 Michael N. Jagessar menyemak semula idea Owens, merancang pendekatan sistematiknya sendiri terhadap teologi Rastafari dan memberikan gambaran mengenai perubahan kepercayaan kumpulan itu.

Idea utama dalam Rastafari kontemporari adalah:

  • Kemanusiaan Tuhan dan ketuhanan manusia
    • Ini merujuk kepada pentingnya Haile Selassie yang dianggap oleh Rastafarian sebagai Tuhan yang hidup. Begitu juga ia menekankan konsep Tuhan mengungkapkan dirinya kepada pengikutnya melalui kemanusiaannya.
    • Rastafari percaya bahawa Tuhan menjadikan dirinya dikenali melalui kemanusiaan. Menurut Jagessar, "mesti ada satu orang di mana dia ada paling unggul dan utuh, dan itulah manusia tertinggi, Rastafari, Selassie I."
    • Adalah sangat penting untuk melihat semua fakta sejarah dalam konteks penghakiman dan cara kerja Tuhan.
    • Keselamatan untuk orang Rastafari adalah idea duniawi, dan bukannya surgawi.
    • Sifat manusia sangat penting bagi Rastafarian dan mereka harus memelihara dan melindunginya.
    • Idea ini merujuk kepada kepentingan dan rasa hormat yang dimiliki Rastafari terhadap haiwan dan alam sekitar, seperti yang dicerminkan dalam undang-undang makanan mereka.
    • Ucapan sangat penting bagi Rastafarian, kerana ia memungkinkan kehadiran dan kuasa Tuhan dirasakan.
    • Dosa adalah peribadi dan korporat. Ini bermaksud organisasi seperti Dana Kewangan Antarabangsa bertanggungjawab terhadap keadaan fiskal Jamaica, dan penindasan sebahagiannya dipengaruhi oleh mereka.
    • Ini sesuai dengan dekatnya penghakiman bagi Rastafari ketika mereka akan diberi pengiktirafan yang lebih besar.
    • Rastafarian adalah umat Tuhan yang terpilih dan berada di bumi untuk mempromosikan kekuatan dan kedamaian-Nya.

    (Joseph Owens Rastafari Jamaica, 1973 ms 167-70 dan Jagessar, JPIC dan Rastafarian, 1991 ms 15-17.)

    Bagi Rastafari moden, doktrin yang paling penting adalah kepercayaan terhadap ketuhanan Haile Selassie I. Walaupun sebilangan Rastafari masih menganggap Haile Selassie sebagai mesiah hitam, banyak penganut moden tidak melihat ini sebagai pusat kepercayaan mereka.

    Kematian Haile Selassie pada tahun 1975 digambarkan oleh pengikutnya sebagai 'kehilangannya', kerana mereka enggan mempercayai dia telah meninggal dunia. Setelah kematiannya dan peningkatan penerimaan budaya Jamaika dalam masyarakat, banyak kepercayaan Rastafarian telah diubah.

    Menurut Nathaniel Samuel Murrell:

    . saudara-saudara telah menafsirkan semula doktrin pemulangan sebagai migrasi sukarela ke Afrika, kembali ke Afrika secara budaya dan simbolik, atau menolak nilai-nilai Barat dan memelihara akar Afrika dan kebanggaan hitam.

    Nathaniel Samuel Murrell dalam 'Chanting Down Babylon', 1998, halaman 6.

    Kepercayaan sebelumnya bahawa orang kulit putih jahat telah berkurang dan tidak lagi menjadi pusat sistem kepercayaan Rastafarian.

    Idea Babylon juga berkembang untuk mewakili semua organisasi dan negara yang menindas di dunia.


    SEJARAH RASTAFARI SEJARAH


    ASAL: GEREJA GARVEYITE AFRIKA ORTHODOX.

    Marcus Garvey adalah pemimpin nasionalis Hitam kelahiran Jamaica yang Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) adalah organisasi Black Power yang paling terkenal pada tahun 1920-an. Walaupun dirinya seorang Katolik Roma, Garvey mendorong pengikutnya untuk membayangkan Yesus sebagai Hitam dan mengorganisasi gereja mereka sendiri. Untuk menekankan bahawa gereja baru itu bukan Katolik atau Protestan, nama "Orthodox" diadopsi dan filioque (frasa yang ditambahkan pada versi Latin kepercayaan Nicene pada awal Zaman Pertengahan tetapi ditolak oleh Orthodox) dijatuhkan.

    Gereja Ortodoks Afrika mengadakan rundingan dengan Metropolia Rusia (sekarang OCA) untuk pengakuan rasmi sebagai bidang kuasa Ortodoks. Malangnya, rundingan ini terhenti: Metropolia menuntut tahap kawalan pentadbiran yang tidak dapat diterima, sementara Garveyites ingin menyebarkan doktrin apa pun yang mereka pilih. Akhirnya, uskup Ortodoks Afrika disucikan oleh "Katolik Amerika", sebuah kumpulan yang telah menolak kewibawaan Paus tetapi serupa dengan Gereja Rom.

    Gereja Garveyite mempunyai ribuan anggota di tiga benua, dan merupakan simbol anti-kolonialisme di Kenya dan Uganda. Orang-orang Ortodoks Afrika di negara-negara dengan cepat memutuskan hubungan dengan gereja New York dan menjadi sebahagian daripada Patriarkat Yunani dari Alexandria dan sepenuhnya Ortodoks. Proses yang sama berulang di Ghana baru-baru ini, di mana Fr. Kwami Labe, lulusan Seminari St. Vladimir di New York, telah membina komuniti Ortodoks yang kuat di atas landasan yang diletakkan oleh Garveyites. (Namun, saya merasa sedih kerana banyak orang Ortodoks Afrika yang sekarang kanonik sering kelihatan hampir malu dengan asal usul "sesat" mereka, dan berusaha menjauhkan diri dari gerakan sebelumnya.)

    Hari ini Gereja Ortodoks Afrika sebahagian besarnya sudah tidak berfungsi, walaupun paroki St. John Coltrane (!) Di San Francisco tetap aktif.

    LEBIH ASAL: ISRAELIT HITAM.

    Budak-budak kulit hitam selalu merasakan pertalian yang jelas dengan orang-orang Ibrani yang diperbudak. Sebilangan kecil mengambil simpati ini ke tahap logiknya dan mengaku, sebenarnya, orang Yahudi. Pergerakan ini mungkin wujud di A.S. semasa zaman perbudakan, dan sekurang-kurangnya ada seorang mualaf Hitam di rumah ibadat antebellum Charleston. Penyebaran maklumat mengenai minoriti Yahudi "Falasha" di Ethiopia menyumbang kepada pertumbuhan agama Yahudi Hitam pada akhir abad ke-19, dan sekte Yahudi muncul di ghetto utara bersama dengan orang-orang Muslim. Sebilangan ini, dan kumpulan serupa yang berasal dari yang lebih baru, masih aktif sekarang. These groups (a few of them very anti-Semitic in their claim of being "real Jews") are in some cases "Christian", although with an Old Testament emphasis. Frequently they claim that whites have distorted the text of the Bible, and there are attempts to "restore" the text.

    One of these, of importance in this story, is the "Holy Piby", an occult bible allegedly translated from "Amharic" and emphasizing the destruction of white "Babylonia" and the return of the Israelites to Africa, the true Zion. The Piby was adopted by Rastafarians as the source of their liturgical texts.

    The Marcus Garvey of history books is a mainly political leader interested in making the black race economically equal with the white. In oral tradition, however, he appears as a divinely annointed prophet, the Forerunner of Haile Selassie. In addition to many miracles and prophecies, he is credited with having predicted that a "mighty king" would arise in Africa and bring justice to the oppressed. When the Prince (Ras) Tafari of Ethiopia was crowned emperor to world-wide fanfare, many Jamaicans claimed the prophecy of Garvey had obviously just been fulfilled: the Ras Tafari Movement was born.

    Garvey himself was still alive, although his movement had largely collapsed and he himself had been jailed on (subsequently disproved) allegations of business fraud. Garvey was no admirer of Haile Selassie, observing that slavery still existed in Ethiopia, and he attacked the Rastafarians as crazy fanatics. They, however continued to revere Garvey nonetheless, remarking that even John the Baptist had had doubts about Christ!

    From 1930 until the mid '60s, Rastafari was a local Jamaican religious movement with few outside influences. Several Garveyite leaders had independently declared that Haile Selassie fulfilled Garvey's prophecy, and the movement remained dominated by independent "Elders" with widely varying views. Not only did no Jamaica-wide "Rastafarian Church" develop, but there was not even agreement on basic doctrine or a canon of Scripture--both the Holy Piby and the King James Bible were used by various Elders, but were freely emended and "corrected".

    This "anarchy" was considered a virtue by classical Rastas. Rastafari was not a religion, a human organization, or a philosophy, but an active attempt to discern the will of JAH (God) and keep it. Classical Rastas were mainly uneducated Third World peasants, but they approached Rastafari in an almost Talmudic spirit, holding "reasonings" --part theological debate, part prayer meeting-- at which they attempted to find the Truth.

    Their attitude differed, however, from that of Protestants interpreting the Bible. They were certain that they would arrive, by divine guidance, at an "overstanding" (rather than understanding) of the Truth. The Truth cannot be known by human effort alone, but "Jah-Jah come over I&I", one can participate in the One who is Truth.

    Early Rasta mystical experience emphasized the immediate presence of JAH within the "dread" (God-fearer). The doctrine of theosis was expressed with great subtlety (although not all Elders correctly distinguished essence from energy). Through union with JAH, the dread becomes who he truly is but never was, a process of self-discovery possible only through repentance. (For this reason, Rastas did not proselytize, but relied on compunction sent by JAH.) The mystical union was expressed by the use of the pronoun "I&I" (which can mean I, we, or even you, with JAH present) or simply "I" in contrast to the undeclined Jamaican dialect "me".

    Many Rastas lived (and live today) in the bush in camps ruled by an Elder. Some of these camps are segregated by sex and resemble monasteries (down to the gong at the gate) more often, they are reconstituted West African villages. The dreads observe the rules of "ital", a dietary code based on the Pentateuch with various additions, and otherwise observe a spiritual rule. Males are usually bearded (uncommon in Jamaica during the classical period, and a cause of social and religious discrimination, so that Rastas who held jobs often were "baldfaces" who kept their affiliation secret.)

    The famous "dreadlocks" were worn during the classical period only by a minority of dreads, mostly those who had taken the oath of Nazirite. Very recent historical research suggests that the dreadlocks were popularized by a monastic movement which opposed the unrestrained and potentially corrupting power of the Elders. These celibate and almost puritanical "nyabinghi warriors" objected particularly to "pagan holdovers" in Rastafari, the continued use by dreads of ritual practices associated with the voudoun-like folk religion of the Jamaican peasantry.

    Another source of "pagan" thought in Rastafari was the religion practiced by the thousands of East Indian labourers imported to Jamaica after the abolition of slavery. Classical Hinduism is a major religious force throughout the West Indies, especially on Trinidad, but its influence on Rastafari has been little remarked. The dreadlocked, ganja-smoking saddhu or wandering ascetic is a well-known figure in India, and bands of saddhus often live in Rasta-style camps and smoke marijuana from a formally-blessed communal chalice-pipe. The Hindu doctrine of reincarnation is also advocated by many dreads, although often with a subtle twist: to say that (for example) today's Jamaicans are reincarnated Israelites, and even "I myself have felt the slave-master's whip", means to some dreads not that they personally have lived before, but that their solidarity with their ancestors is so great that there is a "oneness through time".

    Among the few things all Elders agreed on were that Haile Selassie was "divine" (although what that meant was much debated) and that he intended to restore New World Blacks to Africa. Although a mystical interpretation of "repatriation" was advanced, there is no doubt that all early Elders (and most modern ones) expected outward literal return as well. This gave Rastafari an overt political dimension: the Rastafarians all, without exception, wanted to immediately emigrate to Ethiopia. This was a situation with no analogue except Zionism, and was beyond the ability of the Jamaican authorities to deal with. Revolutionaries are one thing, but the Rasta slogan was not "power to the people", but "let my people go". As time passed, Rastafarian frustration at this unmet demand became explosive. The situation grew especially tense after 1954, when the government overran a Rastafarian mini-state called the Pinnacle, ruled by Elder Leonard Howell in exactly the style of a traditional West African chief. Howell's followers migrated to the slums of Kingston, and the movement went from a rural peasant separatist movement to one associated with the ghettoes of the capital. In the late '50s and early '60s, a few Rastas in desparation rejected the non-violent teaching of all authentic Elders and mounted a series of increasingly violent uprisings, culminating in several deadly shoot-outs between Rastas and British troops. With this violence, the existence of Rastafari came to (negative) worldwide notice more positive publicity was brought by the popularity of Rasta-performed reggae dance music a few years later. The classical period of isolation was at an end.

    I will now treat the issue of direct contact between Rastafari and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

    THE ETHIOPIAN WORLD FEDERATION (EWF).

    As an African country mentioned in the Bible and the only African nation to successfully resist colonialism, Ethiopia was always prominent in New World Black consci- ousness, but actual contact was minimal until the Second World War. In 1937, Haile Selassie's government in exile founded EWF to raise money and political support from Black nationalist groups in the West. After the war, the EWF continued to exist in various forms, some completely under local control but all providing at least some contact with Abyssinia.

    In the 1940s, a Garveyite bishop named Edwin Collins set up what he said was a legitimate Coptic church under the Patriarch of Alexandria. However the Garveyite Coptics were tied more closely to the African Orthodox Church than to Egypt, and their canonicity was widely doubted. In 1952 the Garveyite Coptic diocese of Trinidad and Tobago broke away and placed itself under Addis Ababa. Clergy were imported from Africa and a fully canonical church was organised in the islands. Trinidad is an Ethiopian Orthodox success story: native- born clergy (including old-time Garveyite leaders) were rapidly ordained and parishes were founded all over the country and in Guyana.

    In 1959 the central Garveyite Coptic organisation in New York tried to improve its canonical status. The archbishop went to Ethiopia, where he was supposedly ordained chorepiscopos, and returned with a group of young Ethiopian priests and deacons who were to study in American universities. These clergy almost immediately broke with the Garveyites, however, and set up parishes more oriented to the needs of Ethiopian immigrants the Garveyite Coptic church which had sponsored them went into an evidently irreversible decline. One of the young priests who came over at this time soon became Ethiopian Orthodoxy's main representative abroad. He is Laike M. Mandefro, now Archbishop Yesehaq, exarch of the Western Hemisphere and many would add Apostle to the Caribbean.

    All of the above developments took place independently of the Ras Tafari Movement, which was still confined to Jamaica. An EWF chapter had opened there in 1938 and been almost immediately taken over by Rastafarians, in particular by the prominent Elders Joseph Hibbert and Archibald Dunkley. Both men were noted mystics and initiates of an all-Black "Coptic" Masonic lodge in Costa Rica some might therefore find it ironic that they more than anyone else would prove responsible for the arrival of Orthodoxy in Jamaica!

    Presumably because of the spread of the Ethiopian Church in Trinidad, Haile Selassie was invited to visit that country in 1966. Jamaica was then in the throws of an ongoing national social crisis in which Rastas were perceived by the establishment as a revo- lutionary threat which had to defused a team of social scientists had advised the government that one way to do this was to foster close ties with the real Ethiopia. Accordingly, the Emperor was invited to make a stop in Jamaica.

    On April 21 -- "Grounation Day" to Rastas ever since -- Haile Selassie arrived in Kingston. Contrary to the widely repeated claim that the Emperor was "amazed" or "bemused" upon "discovering" the existence of the Rastafarians (the greater number of whom by 1966 believed him to be God in essence), there is much evidence that Haile Selassie's whole purpose in visiting Jamaica was to meet the Rasta leadership. Greeted at the airport by thousands of dreads in white robes chanting "Hosanna to the Son of David", Haile Selassie granted an audience to a delegation of famous Elders, including Mortimo Planno and probably Joseph Hibbert. The precise details of this historic meeting cannot be reconstructed, and there exist countless variants in Jamaican oral tradition. Almost certainly, he urged them to become Orthodox and held out the possibility that Jamaican settlers could receive land-grants in South Ethiopia. Most traditional versions of the meeting specify that he also gave the Elders a secret message, very much in keeping with the Emperor's known policies on Third World development: "Build Jamaica first."

    In 1970, at Hibbert's invitation, Abba Laike Mandefro began to evangelize the Rastafarians in person. In the course of a year he baptized some 1200 dreads and laid the foundation for the church's subsequent growth. He also encountered fierce opposition from those Elders who taught that Haile Selassie was Jah in essence and demanded "baptism in Ras Tafari's name". In Montego Bay, only one dread accepted Orthodox baptism Laike Mandefro baptized him Ahadu -- "One Man".

    A major crisis struck the young church in 1971, when a public service marking the ninth anniversary of Jamaican independence was held in Kingston. Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox (Greek and Ethiopian) clergy all participated in the service. The Rastas were scandalized that Orthodox would pray with representatives of "false religions" hundreds of baptized members defected, and an entire parish was lost. Many of these persons no doubt joined the organized Rastafarian churches which were beginning to replace the traditional Elder system, and which soon incorporated widely varying degrees of Ethiopian Orthodox liturgical and theological influence.

    Besides the heretical syncretist groups, however, a legitimate Orthodox Rastafari Movement continued to flourish as the backbone of the Jamaican church. The EWF under the leadership of Dunkley and Hibbert had enormous prestige, being tied both to the roots of the movement in Garveyism and directly to Jamaica. The EWF retained the political and social aspects and the distinctive cultural features of classical Rastafari while advocating a rigorously correct and canonical Orthodoxy, venerating the Emperor as a holy living ikon of JAH but not worshiping him. The first steps toward Orthodox Jamaica were being taken -- albeit by people whose main secular goal was to leave the country as soon as possible!

    COMMENT FOR NON-ORTHODOX READERS.

    Orthodox theology distinguishes several levels of divinity. Only the Uncreated is "God-in-essence" humans can become "divine by participation" ikons are visible channels through which divine energy enters the world. The question which divides the "canonical" brethren from non-Orthodox groups is which of these levels of divinity applies to Emperor Haile Selassie. The Orthodox say he is divine by participation and ikonicity, and thus merits "douleia" ("veneration") the Tribes say he is divine in essence and merits "latreia" or absolute worship.

    This was also the time when reggae music was at the height of its popularity, and when explicitly religious lyrics were the norm within reggae. Many popular bands were Orthodox, notably The Abyssinians, a group with priestly and monastic connections. The family of reggae's "superstar", Bob Marley, were mostly Orthodox, although Marley himself was for most of his career a member of the Twelve Tribes sect. In his last years, dying young of cancer, Marley underwent a remarkable spiritual transformation (evident in his music also) culminating in his baptism his Orthodox funeral in 1981 was attended by tens of thousands of mourners.

    Haile Selassie was reported dead in 1975 (to the disbelief of many Rastas even today). The Ethiopian church, like many Orthodox churches under communist rule, endured terrible persecution which it survived partly by compromise with the persecutors. The Marxist regime in Addis Ababa was very unenthused that an emperor-venerating and/or worshiping cult was flourishing in a part of the world otherwise ripe for revolution.

    In addition, I have the impression that some of the increasingly numerous and often middle-class Ethiopian emigres in the West looked down on Rastafarians. The pious suspected their Orthodoxy (no doubt often rightly that many "Orthodox" Rastas continued to secretly harbor heretical views is quite likely) the staid resented association with an impoverished and reputedly criminal Black underclass. The latter consideration was especially strong in Britain, where all forms of Rastafari spread rapidly among the West Indian minority in the '70s. (It is important to add, however, that England's Ethiopian community also provided legal and other support for Rastas subjected to racist and police harassment during this period, especially in the Handsworth section of Birmingham.)

    For whatever reason, in 1976 all Orthodox Rastas were required to cut their locks and to make an elaborate formal repudiation of heretical emperor worship (latreia). Whatever its long-term wisdom, this decree forced people who were "growing into an overstanding" by the slow traditional process to make a sudden decision the cutting of locks, a purely external issue, seemed to many a repudiation of the movement's history.

    In spite of these not-inconsiderable conflicts, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has spread through the Caribbean thanks to the Ras Tafari movement. While only a minority of Rastas have actually become Orthodox, nearly all have been influenced by Orthodoxy. The makwamya (the prayer stick used by Ethiopian clergy) is ubiquitous among dreads items of clerical garb are also frequently adopted. Rastafarian painters have been heavily influenced by ikonography. Syncretism is particularly evident in the organized sects which have partly supplanted the charismatic Elder system.

    THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL (unrelated to the various Black Hebrew churches of the same name) are probably the largest and most famous of the sects. Founded in 1968 by Vernon Carrington (the Prophet Gad), the Tribes hold that Haile Selassie is Jesus Christ returned in majesty as King: the Second Coming has already happened. Their coherent theology and tight organization have won them many converts, including most of the famous reggae singers of the '70s. Something of the syncretistic feel of later Rastafari is conveyed by the cover art on the album "Zion Train" by Ras Michael (a brilliant hymnographer and one of the Ras Tafari Movement's more impressive living spokesmen). The painting shows two clerically-turbaned dreads before the open Royal Doors of an ikonostasis -- beyond which, however, is only a view of mountains against a red sky.

    "PRINCE" EDWARD EMMANUEL, founder of another prominent sect, was a famous Elder of the classical era, responsible for convening the first "Nyabinghi" or Rastafarian general synod in 1958. The Prince was already a controversial figure who claimed to be one of the Holy Trinity along with Haile Selassie and Marcus Garvey presumably, he hoped the Nyabinghi would recognize this claim (which it did not). Thereafter the Prince began transforming his large band of worshipers into an organized church, complete with dogma, liturgy, hierarchy, and a kind of monasticism. The group's priests, some of whom have actually been to Ethiopia, wear Orthodox vestments.

    THE ZION COPTIC CHURCH, a semi-moribund Garveyite Orthodox denomination, was revitalized by white hippie converts in the '60s despite its partly foreign leadership, it enjoyed explosive growth among Black Jamaicans disillusioned with the canonical church's approach. Although the "Coptics", as they are called, insist that they are a legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction and even publish tracts on such theological issues as the _mia physis_ and the Council of Chalcedon, they also engage in some very questionable speculations verging on Gnosticism. To their credit, they have gone much further than the canonical church in incorporating the best of classical Rastafrian culture into church life, and their retention of dreadlocks, nyabinghi drumming, etc. has helped them gain many converts. This success is reflected in their great material wealth, for which they have been criticized (they are supposedly among the largest landholders in Jamaica). One aspect of their "reverse syncretism" has caused much controversy, as well as a landmark church-state case which landed the Coptics' leadership in prison: their gnosticizing theories are used to justify ritual consumption of marijuana.

    Contrary to popular belief, pious Rastas do not smoke marijuana recreationally, and some (the canonical Ethiopian Orthodox and also the followers of certain classical Elders) do not use it at all. Most Rastafarian teachers, however, have advocated the controlled ritual smoking of "wisdomweed" both privately as an aid to meditation and communally from "chalice" pipes as an "incense pleasing to the Lord". The argument is that ganja is the "green herb" of the King James Bible and that its use is a kind of shortcut version of traditional ascetical practice. The Ethiopian Church, of course, strongly discourages this: Orthodox monks have learned over centuries of experience that such shortcuts are at best dangerous and at worst soul-destroying. The issue, however, has been much sensationalized by the press, in keeping with the racist stereotyping of Rastas as stoned criminals.

    I believe that the Rastafarians have been greatly underestimated by the outside world, including, to some extent, many elements in the Orthodox community. The classical Rastas were sophisticated theological and philosophical thinkers, not cargo-cultists worshiping newspaper photos of an African despot. They had discovered many sophisticated theological concepts for themselves, and had retraced many of the Christological and other debates of the early Church. They brought a truly rich cultural and artistic legacy, including some of the twentieth century's most moving hymnography.

    While Abuna Yesehaq, at least, certainly seems to recognize this, in practise Rastas often seem to be told by the church that they must become Ethiopians in order to become Orthodox. Many are willing to do this, so great is their thirst for Truth and so acute their sense of having lost their true African culture. More, however, are not--and in a way rightly so. The Church is the poorer to the extent it does not incorporate what is good about the Rasta experience and instead tiresomely emphasizes the "heresy of emperor-worship" and "herbal sorcery". What is forgotten is that the existence of the Rastafari movement is a miracle: a forgotten people and a lost culture bringing itself by "reasonings" to the very edge of Orthodoxy. Surely this is a supernatural event, and so the Orthodox Rastas see it. An anonymous nyabingi chant goes:

    Michael going to bring them, bring them to the Orthodox Church.
    No matter what they do, no matter what they say.
    Gabriel going to bring them, bring them to the Orthodox Church.
    Raphael going to bring them, Uriel going to bring them,
    Sorial going to bring them, Raguel going to bring them,
    Fanuel going to bring them, bring them to the Orthodox Church.

    I will conclude with a song by Berhane Selassie (Bob Marley), written around the time he was converting to Orthodoxy from the Twelve Tribes and summing up the whole Orthodox Rasta "seen":

    Old pirates, yes, they rob I
    Sold I to the merchant ships,
    Minutes after they took I
    From the bottomless pit.
    But my hand was made strong
    By the hand of the Almighty.
    We followed in this generation, triumphantly.
    Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?
    Cause all I ever have: redemption songs,
    These songs of freedom.

    This was the last song on the last album Marley released before his death.


    Rastafarian Customs and Worship

    Rastafarians do not have a specific or designated building for worship. However, you will find that they meet weekly whether at the home of a believer or at a community centre.

    Some call these meetings “reasoning sessions”. These sessions include, chanting, prayers, singing and discussions.  Marijuana (often referred to as the holy herb or wisdom weed) is also smoked for an elevated spiritual experience.

    This is usually placed in a Cutchie (chillum pipe) and passed around in a left direction.  The music played at these meetings are called Nyabingi and whenever there is mostly music involved, the meetings are called Nyabingi meetings.

    • Most Rastafarians can often be recognized by the long dreadlocks hair style that they wear.  The view this as spiritual and justify it with the bible verse Leviticus 21:5 (They shall not make baldness upon their head).
    • Whenever there is a newborn into the Rastafarian culture, the child is blessed by elders during a Nyabingi session.
    • You might be accustomed to traditional marriages where there is a wedding ceremony and reception.  This is not the case in the Rastafarian Jamaican culture. A man just takes a woman and call her his “queen” or “empress”.  There is no formal structure and they are considered man and wife as long as they are living together.  In instances where a marriage may take place, it is not considered as religious occasion but more of a social event.
    • Whenever a Rastafarian dies, there is no traditional funeral service as you would normally see for regular persons.  They believe in re-incarnation after death and that life continues perpetually.

    New! Watch Video Of Rastas In The Hills Of Jamaica (below)


    The Rastafari Way Of Life

    Rastafari combine their religious use of cannabis with high moral values that do not conform to societal pressures such as sensual pleasures, oppression, and materialism (also referred to as Babylon). Rastafari acclaims Zion which they believe to be Ethiopia which is the ancestral place where humanity was first born and also the Promised Land and Heaven on Earth.

    Some Rastafari do not ascribe to any denomination or religious sect thus advocating for one to find faith and motivation to live a righteous life within themselves. Other Rastafari such as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Nyahbhingi, and Bobo Shanti firmly believe in the Mansions of Rastafari while some accommodate some Pan-African and Afrocentric social and political ambitions.


    The African Diaspora, Ethiopianism, and Rastafari

    D iasporas invariably leave a trail of collective memory about other times and places. But while most displaced peoples frame these attachments with the aid of living memory and the continuity of cultural traditions, the memories of those in the African diaspora have been refracted through the prism of history to create new maps of desire and attachment. Historically, black peoples in the New World have traced memories of an African homeland through the trauma of slavery and through ideologies of struggle and resistance.

    Ethiopianism and the Ideology of Nationhood

    Arguably the most poignant of these discursive topographies is that of the Rastafari faith and culture. Like the Garvey Movement and other forms of pan-Africanism before it, the Rastafari fashion their vision of an ancestral homeland through a complex of ideas and symbols known as Ethiopianism, an ideology which has informed African-American concepts of nationhood, independence, and political uplift since the late 16th century. Derived from references in the Holy Bible to black people as 'Ethiopians', this discourse has been used to express the political, cultural, and spiritual aspirations of blacks in the Caribbean and North America for over three centuries. From the last quarter of the 18th century to the present, Ethiopianism has, at various times, provided the basis for a common sense of destiny and identification between African peoples in the North American colonies, the Caribbean, Europe, and the African continent.

    While the present-day Rastafari Movement is undoubtedly the most conspicuous source of contemporary Ethiopianist identifications, the culture of Jah People obscures the wider historical range and scope of Ethiopianist ideas and identifications among African peoples in the Diaspora and on the continent. Names like Phyllis Wheatley, Bishop Richard Allen, Prince Hall, Denmark Vesey, Martin Delany, Casley Hayford, Frederick Douglass, Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Albert Thorne, and Marcus Garvey all drew upon the powerful identification of this discourse to spread a message of secular and spiritual liberation of black peoples on the African continent and abroad. More so than any of his predecessors or contemporaries, however, it was Marcus Garvey--a Jamaican of proud Maroon heritage--who championed the cry of "Africa for the Africans, at home and abroad" and encouraged his followers in the biblical view that "every nation must come to rest beneath their own vine and fig tree."

    From the period prior to the American Revolutionary War, slaves in North America equated Ethiopia with the ancient empires that flourished in the upper parts of the Nile Valley and--largely through biblical references and sermons--perceived this territory as central to the salvation of the black race. black converts to Christianity in colonial America cherished references to Ethiopia in the Bible for a number of reasons. These references depicted Blacks in a dignified and human light and held forth the promise of freedom. Such passages also suggested that African peoples had a proud and deep cultural heritage that pre-dated European civilization. The summation of these sentiments was most frequently identified with Psalm 68:31 where it is prophesied that "Princes shall come out of Egypt and Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God." During the late 18th century, black churchmen in the North American colonies made extensive use of Ethiopianist discourse in their sermons. Bishop Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, was among those who identified the cause of African freedom with this prophecy in Psalms. During the Revolutionary War, it is reputed that one black regiment proudly wore the appellation of "Allen's Ethiopians." Phyllis Wheatley, the black poet-laureate of colonial America, also made frequent use of this discourse as did Prince Hall, a black Revolutionary War veteran and founder of the African Masonic Lodge. Commenting upon the successful slave insurrection in Haiti (1792-1800), Hall observed: "Thus doth Ethiopia begin to stretch forth her hand, from the sink of slavery, to freedom and equality." There was, in nearly all expressions of Ethiopianism, a belief in the redemption of the race linked to the coming of a black messiah. Perhaps the first expressed articulation of this idea is seen in The Ethiopian Manifesto published by Robert Alexander Young, a slave preacher in North America in 1829.

    In large part because of the movement of peoples spurred in its aftermath, the American Revolutionary War provided a major impetus for the spread of Ethiopianism from Britain's North American to its Caribbean colonies. As British loyalists departed from North America for places like Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados, the churched slaves and former slaves who traveled with them transplanted Ethiopianism to these plantation societies and inaugurated an independent black religious tradition. In Jamaica, George Liele, a former slave and churchman from Savannah, Georgia, founded the first Ethiopian Baptist church in 1783. Liele called his followers "Ethiopian Baptists." Thus began a deep rooted tradition of Ethiopian identification in Jamaica, the birthplace of both Marcus Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association (founded in 1914) and the Rastafari movement (born in 1930).

    Ethiopianism and its associated ideology of racial uplift also spread to the African continent. By the 1880 and 1890s, "Ethiopianist" churches, an independent black church movement, spread throughout Southern and Central Africa. During the same period, African-American churchmen missionized actively on the continent and, through the efforts of figures like Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Ethiopianism served as an ideology which linked African-American brethren with their African brothers and sisters. During this same period, largely due to the sovereignty of Ethiopia amidst European colonialism on the continent, African Americans fixed greater attention on the ancient Empire of Ethiopia itself, thinking of Ethiopia as a black Zion . In 1896, the defeat of invading Italian forces by Menelik II in the Battle of Adwa served to bolster the mythic status and redemptive symbolism of Ethiopia in the eyes of Africans at home and abroad.

    Ethiopia and Modern Pan-Africanism

    By focusing attention on events on the continent, the Battle of Adwa served as a catalyst for a modern pan-African movement led by men like Casley Hayford of the Gold Coast, Albert Thorne of Barbados, and Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey. Garvey founded the largest mass black movement in history, starting in Jamaica and spreading his message to the rest of the Caribbean, Central and North America. Inspiring blacks through the African world with a vision of racial uplift, Garvey made conspicuous use of 18th century biblical Ethiopianism in his speeches and writings. For Garvey, it was "Every nation to their own vine and fig tree," a theme which continues to resonate in the contemporary Rastafari Movement. Garvey, like other pan-Africanists of his generation, saw the liberation of the African continent from colonialism as inseparable from the uplift of black peoples everywhere. In the 1920s, his movement reached from Harlem to New Orleans, from London to Cape Town, Lagos to Havana, and from Kingston to Panama. During this same decade, Garveyism and its associated rituals of black nationhood became a vibrant and essential element of the Harlem Renaissance.

    Many scholars argue that Ethiopianism peaked during the early 1930s prior to and during the second Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Certainly the single event in this century which resonated with the multiple cultural, political, and religious dimensions of Ethiopianism was the coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen , the then Prince Regent of Ethiopia. In November of 1930, the biblical enthronement of Ras Tafari as His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, became an internationally publicized event which was unique in the African world. The news of a black regent claiming descent through the biblical lineage of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, stirred the imaginations of an entire generation of African Americans and refocused attention upon ancient Ethiopia. The second Italian invasion of Ethiopia in October of 1935 produced an enormous wave of pro-Ethiopianist sentiments among blacks across the African continent as well as in the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States. Particularly to blacks in the diaspora the invasion was seen as an attack on the dominant symbol of African pride and cultural sovereignty. In Harlem, thousands of African Americans marched and signed petitions asking the U.S. government to allow them to fight on behalf of the Ethiopian cause. In Trinidad, this crisis in the black world coincided with the emergence of calypso and a fledgling Caribbean music industry. Calypsos which described the crisis from a black perspective were carried by West Indian seamen from port to port throughout the black world. Music--always an integral part of African and African American culture--served to crystallize shared sentiments of racial pride in support of the Ethiopian cause.

    The Rastafari Vision and Culture

    It is in the Rastafari movement, with its origins in Jamaica, that Ethiopianism has been most consistently elaborated for nearly seven decades. The biblical enthronement of Ras Tafari Makonnen in 1930 as His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of King, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah was an event widely reported throughout the European and colonial world. It was the ensuing interpretation of the Solomonic symbols by which Ras Tafari took possession of a kingdom with an ancient biblical lineage which transformed Ethiopia into an African Zion for the nascent Rasta movement. The independence of Ethiopia as one of only two sovereign nations on the African continent ensured Selassie's placement at the symbolic center of the African world throughout the colonial and much of the post-colonial period. Indicative of this is the fact that the Organization of African Unity (founded in 1963), is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To this day, it is the biblical imagery associated with the theocratic kingdom of Ethiopia which fuels a Rastafari vision of nationhood and underlies their deification of Emperor Haile Selassie.

    Today, it is probably fair to say that when most people hear the word "Rastafari" they think of Bob Marley, the "king of reggae." Through his inspirational music, Marley did more to popularize and spread the Rasta message worldwide than any other single individual. But neither Marley or reggae represents the roots of the Rastafari experience. Reggae, as a music of populist black protest and experience which has had a formative experience upon Jamaican nationalism, emerged in Jamaica only during the early 1970s. For at least three decades previous to this, Rastafari in Jamaica were evolving an African-oriented culture based on their spiritual vision of repatriation to the African homeland.

    The "Roots" or Elders of the movement have built upon earlier sources of African cultural pride, identification, and resistance such as those embodied by Jamaica's Maroons --runaway slaves who formed independent communities within the island's interior during the 17th century. Rastafari, in fact, must be seen as a religion and movement shaped by the African Diaspora and an explicit consciousness that black people are African 'exiles" outside their ancestral homeland. As one Rasta Elder stated, "Rastafari is a conception that was born at the moment that Europeans took the first black man out of Africa. They didn't know it then, but they were taking the first Rasta from his homeland."

    From the early 1930s, Rastafari in Jamaica have developed a culture based on an Afrocentric reading of the Bible, on communal values, a strict vegetarian dietary code known as Ital, a distinctive dialect, and a ritual calendar devoted to, among other dates, the celebration of various Ethiopian holy days. Perhaps the most familiar feature of Rastafari culture is the growing and wearing of dreadlocks , uncombed and uncut hair which is allowed to knot and mat into distinctive locks. Rastafari regard the locks as both a sign of their African identity and a religious vow of their separation from the wider society they regard as Babylon . In the island of its birth, Rasta culture has also drawn upon distinctive African-Jamaican folk traditions which includes the development of a drumming style known as Nyabinghi . This term is similarly applied to the island-wide gatherings in which Rastafari brethren and sistren celebrate the important dates on an annual calendar.

    With the advent of reggae, this deeper "roots culture" has spread throughout the Caribbean, to North American and European metropolis such as London, New York, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Washington, D.C., as well as to the African continent itself. This more recent growth and spread of the movement has resulted from a variety of factors. These include the migration of West Indians (e.g., Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Antiguans) to North America and Europe in search of employment, the travel of reggae musicians, and the more recent travel of traditional Rastafari Elders outside Jamaica. At the same time, many African American and West Indian individuals who have become Rastafari outside Jamaica now make "pilgrimages" to Jamaica to attend the island-wide religious ceremonies known as Nyabinghi and to seek out the deeper "roots culture" of the movement. Despite the fact that Rastafari continue to be widely misunderstood and stigmatized outside Jamaica, the movement embraces a non-violent ethic of "peace and love" and pursues a disciplined code of religious principles.

    Since 1992 and the 100th anniversary of Haile Selassie's birth, the Rastafari settlement in Shashamane, Ethiopia (part of a land grant given to the black peoples of the West by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1955) has come to serve as a growing focal point for the movement's identification with Africa.