The Rastafari movement began in the black slums of Jamaica during the 1930 's, when Africa (considered Ethiopia by Europeans) was undergoing colonization. In this time, Africans were taken as slaves by the European powers, causing the people of Africa to be divided up and sent into exile as captives in areas throughout the world. The areas of captivity became known as 'Babylon '. Rastafarians believed that this suppression of black people in Babylon will soon end, allowing all of the slaves to return to 'Ethiopia '.
Rastafarianism was not always a popular movement, and was not quite seen as a positive religious movement. This religious group was often perceived as unsanitary, marijuana-smokers, with unkempt dreadlocks, who played reggae music. They often controlled crime-infested streets of Kingston, New York City, or London. The dominant public opinion toward the Rastafarians was nothing positive, and the public did not enjoy their presence. Some of these stereotypes still remain among some people in the Caribbean, the United States, and Great Britain. Between the 1930 's and the 1950 's, few people bothered to study the significance of the political and ideological concepts in Rastafarian culture. They thought (and hoped) that it was a fad that woul...
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...ey are also not permitted to use ganja on journeys.
Although I personally don 't agree with the belief system of this religious group, I do feel that this could ultimately be considered a legitimate religion. There may be no specific doctrine or scripture that they believe firmly and wholly in, but they do have a set of values that they live by, and they have an object of worship; God. They have traditions and practices that give a person insight into their culture, and they have beliefs regarding salvation and afterlife, despite the vagueness and simplicity. Rastafarianism is not a world religion, but it is growing in recognition and popularity. It has a history that peaked in the 1930 's, when slavery was prevalent. Even though this religion has its fair amount of controversy, the adherents deserve the right to practice their religion in peace, as we all should.
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