One of the prominent splinter-groups, known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, founded by Vernon Carrington has its headquarters in New York (The Rastafarians, pp. Other groups which "claim allegiance to Ras Tafari" are the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church and the Ethiopian World Federation (Ibid, p. DOCTRINE As Cashmore has observed, "The belief system of Ras Tafari was so vague and loosely defined, even at its inception, due to its lack of a single authoritative voice, that what was to be acceptable doctrine was largely a matter of individual interpretation" (Rastaman, p. Early in the history of the movement, Leonard Howell gave the Rastafarians six principles."(1) hatred for the White race; (2) the complete superiority of the Black race; (3) revenge on Whites for their wickedness; (4) the negation, persecution, and humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica; (5) preparation to go back to Africa; and (6) acknowledging Emperor Haile Selassie as the Supreme Being and only ruler of Black people" (The Rastafarians, p. As Barrett notes, "This first glimpse of the new doctrine that launched the Rastafarian movement has not changed significantly over the years" (Ibid).
If you wish to know more check out the Rastafarian forum Founder: Marcus Garvey's philosophy is credited as the beginning point.
Founding Date: 1930 Official Publication: None Organization Structure: No official church buildings or leaders. Unique Terms: Babylon is Jamaica or the establishment.
Aside from these six principles are two overriding concepts that are key to the Rastafarian system. But man itself needs a head and the head of man is His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie of Ethiopia'" (Ibid, p. Other doctrines which are more loosely taught and believed by the Rastafarians are the following: 1) Rastafarians have a doctrine of avatar which is very similar to Hinduism. Now the advent of Ras Tafari is the climax of God's revelation" (The Rastafarians, p. They even teach that Jesus predicted the coming of Haile Selassie (Ibid, p. 2) As with many new religious movements, the Rastafarians only accept the Bible conditionally preferring those passages that can be forced to harmonize with their unique doctrines.
First is the idea or teaching about Babylon which refers to the Jamaican government, the establishment or the white oppressors in general (Ibid, pp. The second concept is that of I and I which has "become arguably the most important theoretical tool apart from the Babylonian conspiracy in the Rastafarian repertoire" (Rastaman, p. Cashmore explains, "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. They believe, "God revealed himself in the person of Moses, who was the first avatar or savior. "Rastas accept the Bible as their central text with the proviso that much of its original material had been deliberately distorted during its translation into English. 4) The Rastafarian's view of Jesus being only one of several "avatars" depreciates Christ's unique claims to deity and His role as sole mediator between God and man.
In the early 1920's, Garvey was an influential black spokesman and founder of the "back-to-Africa" movement.