How Is Rastafari Different From Christianity

Overview of Rastafari

Rastafari is a religious and spiritual belief system that originated in Jamaica. It is distinct from Christianity and is based around veneration of the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, a direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The Rastafari faith can be traced back to the 1930s, and it should be noted that this faith is spiritual rather than a denomination within Christianity. The adherents of Rastafari champion the idea of leading a natural lifestyle centred around the divinity of Jah (God). For many, the use of marijuana is seen as the sacrament of the faith.

The Core Beliefs of Rastafari

The core beliefs of this faith can be found in the notion of the divinity of Haile Selassie I. This is combined with a belief in the African diaspora and the rejection of the white European colonial ruler and their ‘Babylon’ system. Additionally, Rastafari belief sees the ‘Africanisation of everything’ as a rejection of slavery, racism and discrimination that the African people have endured since the time of their importation by Europeans. Core to the Rastafari lifestyle is leading a natural life, rejecting materialism and desirousness and focusing on Jah (God).

Comparison to Christian Beliefs

The core beliefs of Rastafari differ considerably from those of Christianity. In Christianity, there is a fundamental acceptance of Jesus Christ as the one true son of God and the belief that he was resurrected from the dead. Rastafari does not accept Jesus Christ as the son of God, but instead puts its faith in Haile Selassie I as a more direct representative of God. Notably, Rastafari does not embrace the concept of Jesus’ resurrection, instead favouring a view that all men shall return to Jah through the life cycle.

Additionally, Christianity is based around the concept of faith, whereas Rastafari emphasises the need for action. This means that Rastafari followers strive to make a positive impact in their community and devote themselves to causes they deem just and righteous. They live according to ‘Jah-like’ principles and endeavour to become living examples of the divine ‘King of Kings’.

The Influence of Rastafari

The influence of Rastafari on modern culture, particularly in the Western world, has been considerable. The culture of Rastafarianism has been deeply influenced by reggae and other forms of music, including dub and dancehall. There are also a wide range of Rastafarian symbols, such as dreadlocks and the Ethiopian flag, that are often seen and used in popular culture. More recently, the Rastafari faith has been embraced by the hip-hop scene and by celebrities such as Lauryn Hill, who became a follower of the faith.

Additionally, the Rastafari faith has served to inspire civil rights activism across the African diaspora. The religion has been a major influence in African culture and has been used to build strong communities, challenge oppressive systems and strengthen civil rights movements. There have been numerous examples of Rastafari inspire civil rights activists, including Marcus Garvey, who was one of the earliest leading figures of the faith.

Rastafari and Mental Health

The mental health benefits of Rastafari cannot be understated. The Rastafari faith and its values offer a safe and secure spiritual environment, free from the pressures of daily life. This faith fosters a sense of belonging, with its followers striving to make the world better and act with greater compassion. This sense of belonging is invaluable for those struggling with mental health issues, helping to rebuild confidence and self-reliance. Additionally, the Rastafari faith offers an outlet for expression and a way to express ideologies and beliefs without judgement.

Furthermore, the moral code and doctrine of Rastafari have been beneficial for many, providing a framework to live one’s life against. This moral code encourages compassion, respect, love, understanding and humility. This further serves to reduce mental health stigma and build self-confidence, identity and belonging amongst its followers.

The Importance of Education

Due to the misrepresentation of its values and beliefs, there is a great need for more education about Rastafari. This is particularly important for youth, who are exposed to the mainstream narrative about this faith. Education about the core beliefs and values of Rastafari can help to better inform people and dispel myths. Additionally, education about this faith can promote greater acceptance and understanding of its followers. Education is the key to changing attitudes and making the world more diverse and inclusive.

Rastafari and Business

The ethos of Rastafari has been embraced by numerous companies and businesses, with many businesses offering products and services based around Rastafari values and beliefs. This includes cafés, clothing stores and food products, all of which draw upon the Rastafari faith. Many of these businesses provide employment opportunities, which helps to promote economic development in local communities. Furthermore, the presence of Rastafari businesses helps to reduce the stigma associated with Rastafarianism and helps to create a more inclusive and diverse community.

Rastafari and Technology

The Rastafari movement has also been embraced by technology. Technology has allowed the Rastafari community to connect and share their beliefs on a global level. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have all been used to spread the message of Rastafari and other Afrocentric themes. Technology has also provided a platform for individuals from the Rastafari community to showcase their skills and talents, thereby providing more opportunities for those within the faith.

Rastafari and Environment

Lastly, the Rastafari faith highlights the importance of preserving the environment and living sustainably. This is evident in the lifestyle of many Rastafari devotees, who shun the materialism of Western culture and strive to lead a simpler life that is in harmony with nature. This includes rejecting processed foods and man-made chemicals, instead favouring organic produce, home-grown fruits and vegetables and herbal remedies. The Rastafari way of life reinforces the importance of preserving Mother Nature and living in harmony with the environment.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

Leave a Comment