Why Do Rastas Worship Haile Selassie

Rastafari is a fairly modern religion which has developed in Jamaica around the 1930s. The faith has emerged following Haile Selassie’s coronation as the King of Ethiopia in 1930. The Rastafarians, or simply called Rastas, have the belief that Haile Selassie is the God of the Black race.

While Haile Selassie never really considered himself to be a God nor did he adhere to the Rastafari religion, the Rastafarians regard him as God primarily because of the prophecy made by Marcus Garvey, a political activist who specifically yearned to improve the status and condition of his fellow black people.

The prophecy said, “Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned, he shall be the Redeemer”. These words were promptly followed by the rise of Haile Selassie as Ethiopia’s Emperor which the Rastafarians regarded as the fulfillment of Garvey’s foresight.

Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie’s lineage traces back to King Solomon and also to the House of David. Consequently, this leads to the lineage of Jesus, who is a descendant of King David.

Ethiopia is regarded by Rastafarians as their homeland and they firmly believe that someday, they will eventually go back to this place which is considered to be a place full of good memories of a life of freedom before oppression took place. Ultimately, Rastas then regarded Ethiopia to be their heaven. They believe that Haile Selassie will lead the repatriation of black people to Ethiopia.

During the rule of Emperor Selassie, Ethiopia was significantly modernized. In 1935, he led Ethiopia’s resistance against the forces of Italy which threatened to invade them. In 1936, he further appealed to the League of Nations to do necessary measures against Italy using chemical weapons that gravely harmed his people. During that time, Selassie was Africa’s sole independent black ruler. Because of his great efforts to bring Ethiopia forward, Rastafarians regarded Selassie to be worthy of all their praise and worship.

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