What Do Rastafarians Believe?

Q. I like your site. I like how you explain things so that it is easy to understand. My question is what is rastafarianism? Is it biblical or Christian? What are the rasta beliefs?

A. Rastafarian beliefs are afro-centric, although they first emerged in Jamaica in the early 20th Century. Most Rastafarians hold that Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, was the Messiah. (Some Rastas disagree with this, asserting that Jesus is the only Messiah.) Ras Tafari is the name by which the Emperor was known to them, and Ethiopia is considered to be the Promised Land of Moses. Many reject Biblical Christianity as a white religion, but seek to follow the Law of Moses. There are currently about 1 million Rastafarians in the world. Most scholars would say their beliefs are neither Biblical nor Christian.

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