Rastafarian movement
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Rastafarian movement. By michael. History

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  • History

  • Rastafarianism arose as a political and religious movement in Jamaica and the surrounding area at a time when a new middle class emerged including both white and African-Jamaican elites. This was a significant change as, historically, Jamaica had been largely an agricultural nation worked by slaves and the black population had the shared experience of slavery, oppression and poverty.

Fast facts
Fast Facts

  • Date founded: Generally said to be November 2, 1930, the year Emperor Hailie Selassie I (1892-1975) was crowned, but based in a movement of the 1920s.

  • Place founded: Jamaica

  • Founder: Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), a black Jamaican who taught in the 1920s and is considered a second John the Baptist.

  • Adherents: About 1 million worldwide


The sacred text of Rastafarians is the Holy Piby, the "Black Man's Bible." It was compiled by Robert Athlyi Rogers of Anguilla from 1913 to 1917 and published in 1924. 4 The Holy Piby is a version of the Christian Bible that has been altered to remove all the deliberate distortions that are believed to have been made by white leaders during its translation into English.

The Ethiopian national epic, the KebraNegast, is also respected by Rastas, but less so than the Bible.


Rastafarians are perhaps best known for their religious use of marijuana, which grows plentifully in Jamaica. Rastas know it as ganja, the holy herb, Iley or callie, and believe it was given by God. Scriptural support is found especially in Psalm 104:14: "He causeth the grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man." Other texts interpreted to refer to cannibis include Genesis 3:18, Exodus 10:12, and Proverbs 15:17. In addition to ritual use, Rastas also use marijuana for medicinal purposes, applying it to a variety of ailments including colds.

In australia
In Australia

  • Numbers Describing their Religion as 'Rastafarianism' in 2001 Census by State and Capital City

  • New South Wales 357 Sydney 180

  • Victoria 243 Melbourne 169

  • Queensland 172 Brisbane 76

  • South Australia 93 Adelaide 64

  • Western Australia 138 Perth 109

  • Tasmania 30 Hobart 10

  • Northern Territory 14 Darwin 11

  • Australian Capital Territory 22 Canberra 22

  • Other Territories 0 Total percent of males 84.1%

  • Total for Australia 1 069 Total percent of females 15.9%