The Rastafarians are an interesting group of quasi-religious people. Although they have a wide reputation for their love of dreadlocks and marijuana, along with tropical blaze herbal incense, few people know the history of this group outside of that reputation. Way back in 1930, Ras Tafari when was crowned king of Ethiopia, he adopted the name Haile Selassie, which means “Might of the Trinity.” It was believed that his crowing was the fulfillment of a prophecy from some years earlier. A movement was begun to support Ras Tafari, but he himself never acknowledged them. For example, a group of Rastafarians went to Ethiopia to honor Haile Selassie, but they were turned away by a palace official who did not want to upset the king, who was a devout Christian. The Rastafarians’ belief, rather than beings dashed by this rejection, only grew stronger since they claimed their god would not know he is a god.
Rastafarians believe that Christian preachers and missionaries who were white had perverted the Scriptures to hide the fact that Adam and Jesus were black. Accordingly, Rastafarians preach hatred of the white race and are believers in black superiority. Their belief is they were exiled from Ethiopia to Jamaica because they offended their god, and they consider Ethiopia to be heaven on earth. Their sacred rituals include the use of marijuana and the chanting of hymns. The dreadlocks hair style they wear comes from the fact that Rastafarians do not believe in cutting anything on the body, including their hair. Reggae singer Bob Marley died tragically at the age of because he would not allow his cancerous toe to be amputated. He is the most famous Rastafarian.
The entire movement today is believed to consist of only about 300,000 people, most of whom live in Jamaica. It is a limited group, and growth as a mainstream religion is not expected.