Emergence of RASTaferians


 Marcus Garvey was born in St Ann's Bay, Jamaica on 17 August 1887, the youngest of 11 children.  At the age of 14 he became a printer's apprentice where he led a strike for higher wages. From 1910 to 1912, Garvey travelled in South and Central America and also visited London. He returned to Jamaica in 1914. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association  and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) in in August 1914 in Akron, Ohio.

In 1916, Garvey moved to Harlem in New York and continued his work there and in March 1916, Garvey inaugurated the New York Division of the UNIA in 1917 with 13 members which soon gathered strength. UNIA established 700 branches in 38 states in the US.  This was probably the biggest black movement in history.

The organization was founded to work for the advancement of people of African ancestry around the world. Its motto is "One God! One Aim! One Destiny!" and its slogan is "Africa for the Africans, at home and abroad!" The broad mission of the UNIA-ACL led to the establishment of numerous auxiliary components, among them the Universal African Legion, a paramilitary group; the African Black Cross Nurses; African Black Cross Society; the Universal African Motor Corps; the Black Eagle Flying Corps; and businesses such as the Black Star Steamship Line, the Black Cross Trading and Navigation Corporation, and the Negro Factories Corporation.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey

He is called the Black Moses since his main thrust was a return of the Blacks to their homeland Africa; to "establish a country and absolute government of their own." In 1920 UNIA International Convention was held at Madison Square Garden Liberty Hall in New York’s Harlem, attended by twenty five thousand delegates from 25 nations of the world.. It was here Garvey issued the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. 

(https://blackpast.org/primary/declaration-rights-negro-peoples-world-1920) . Universal Ethiopian Anthem. And release of his newspaper The Negro World. The Negro world was read in four continents and had over 200,00 readers.  

"No race has the last word on culture and on civilization. You do not know what the black man is capable of; you do not know what he is thinking and therefore you do not know what the oppressed and suppressed Negro, by virtue of his condition and circumstance, may give to the world a surprise."
( Speech, June 6, 1928, Royal Albert Hall, London. Quoted in Adolph Edwards, Marcus Garvey)

Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940) was a Christian and thought in terms of Biblical exodus as a liberation movement. He took the history of the nation of Israel as a parable of the future redemption and restoration.  Black people were the true Israel. The land of Zion is Africa and the Jerusalem was Ethiopia.  This Israel went into slavery because of their rejection of YHVH.  However when they repent YHVH will send a Moses to lead them back and give them their land for a perpectual possession under a Kingdom.  He therefore asked the black people to look to Africa for a redeemer King.  Garvey is considered by Rastafarians as a prophet. But Garvey was never a part of the Rastaferian religious movement since it was not yet born.


Additional Notes

Wherever slavery existed, the slaves found themselves identified with the slaves of Egypt - the Israel - who were redeemed and led back to their home in Canaan - Jerusalam. This liberation was initiated by Moses  The Black slaves always felt this obvious identity to the enslaved Hebrews. Taking it further even identified themselves as the real Jews. They always look forward to a Moses sent by YHVH who will release them from their bondage.


The supportive arguments came from the Ethiopian connection to Judaism. The story of Solomon and Queen of Sheba is given in I Kings 10:1-13 and in II Chronicles 9:1-12 in the Bible (c.600-500BCE), then in the later Aramaic Midrash Targum Sheni (of c30CE- 1000CE), then the Quran(c632-700CE), and finally the Ethiopian work known as the Kebra Negast (c. 1300-1400CE). The Kebra Negast gives the story of how Solomon had a son with Queen of Sheba Mekaadam called Menelik 1 to whom Sheba gave the land of Ethiopia to rule over. Menelik went to visit Solomon his father and got the Ark of the Covenant brought to Axum where it is still under the care of the Bishop in charge of the temple in Axum.

The Ark of the Covenant is claimed to be inside this temple under the care of the Abuna in charge.
It is not openned to the public.



Haile Selassie became the 225th descendant of Solomonic dynasty.


According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, a colony of Jews exists in Abyssinia known under the denomination of "Falashas" or "Emigrants." (They are also called "Kaila"; in the Walkait and Tchelga regions they are known as "Foggara," and the Ilmormas or Gallas give them the name of "Fenjas.") In their families they make use of the expression "house of Israel," or simply "Israel". 

The origin of the Falashas is unknown. According to a tradition preserved by them and recorded by Bruce, who traversed Abyssinia in the eighteenth century, they left Jerusalem in the retinue of Menilek, the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. After a lengthy residence on the coast, about the time when the commerce of the Red Sea passed into foreign hands they appear to have withdrawn into the interior of the country, where they applied themselves to the fabrication of pottery. Others believe the Falashas to be descendants of prisoners of Shalmaneser, or of Jews driven from Judea when Jerusalem was destroyed in the time of Titus and Vespasian. But Joseph Halévy, who visited them in 1868, thinks that the Jewish element of the Falashas proceeds especially from the Himyarites captured in Ethiopia by the king Kaleb, conqueror of Dhu-Nuwas. Taking refuge in the mountains beyond the Takazze, they converted a part of the Agaus, and through intermixture with them produced the Falasha type.  


There are bodies of opinion (some of which are anti-Jewish) that suggests that Jews are different from the Israelites of the Bible. Logically, one would see a greater affinity between Sephardic Jews and Afrikans than between Sephardic (Mediterranean) Jews and Askenazi (European) Jews . In fact, there is some support for the view that many of the patriarchs of the Old Testament were, in fact, black.




Holy Piby


The development of the Rastafari as a religion independent of Jewish and Christian religion may probably be assigned to the Holy Piby

The Holy Piby, published in 1924 (Newark, New Jersey), is an occult bible which was allegedly translated from “Amharic”. The Piby emphasizes the destruction of white “Babylon” and the return of the Black Israelites to Africa which is the true Zion. It is also known as the “Black Man’s Bible”. It was quickly adopted by Rastafarians as one of their foundation books for Theological references in the sect.The “Holy Piby” was complied 1913-1917 by its author Robert Athlyi Rogers (Shepherd Robert Athlyi Rogers), who was born in Anguilla. He committed suicide on 24th August 1931. Many Rastafarians say he “took himself away from this life” versus saying he committed suicide when referring to his death.


1913-1917 Robert Athlyi Rogers (1891-1931) founded a Black Supremacist Afro-centric religion called Athlicanism, or the "Afro-Athlican Constructive Church" (AACC), and proclaimed Marcus Garvey as an apostle.  Rogers wrote or compiled the Holy Piby, which was published in 1924. Copies of the Piby were used by the AACC with the diamond mine workers of Kimberly, South Africa. From there Charles Goodridge and Grace Jenkins Garrison of the AACC brought it to Jamaica when they founded a sister-church, the "Hamatic Church" in 1925. Goodridge and Garrison met with opposition from Christian churches, but the oppressed Blacks of Jamaica responded to their message, and between 1920 and 1930 the seeds of Rastafari were sown.

One Chapter of the book pays tribute to Marcus Garvey as the Prophet of the Black who was one of the most prominent black men fighting for civil rights during the time of publication.

Below is an excerpt from the Holy Piby Chapter 2.

“Holy Piby Chapter 2 page 23 First Paragraph -“And it came to pass that God gave his name Elijah, and he called upon the name of the Lord God even though he himself was God. Now when the time had appeared for God to return, the supreme angel commanded the chariot of heaven to meet him. And when the chariot appeared unto Elijah, he ascended and returned to his throne in heaven where he reigned from the beginning and shall unto the end, King of kings and God of gods.”

"Holy Piby", bible allegedly translated from "Amharic" and emphasizing the destruction of white "Babylonia" and the return of the Israelites to Africa, the true Zion. The Piby was adopted by Rastafarians as the source of their liturgical texts. Additional texts were added in course of history.


 The theology outlined in this work saw Ethiopians (in the classical sense of all Africans) as the chosen people of God. The church preached self-reliance and self-determination for Africans, using the Piby as its guiding document.


The Holy Piby today is made up of four books.


l The first, entitled "The First Book of Athlyi Called Athlyi", has only two chapters.

l The next, "The Second Book of Athlyi Called Aggregation", is the largest, with fifteen chapters, the seventh of which identifies Marcus Garvey as one of three apostles of God.

l The "Third Book of Athlyi Named The Facts of the Apostles" presents two prominent members of the UNIA-ACL, Robert Lincoln Poston and Henrietta Vinton Davis, as the other apostles in the Holy Trinity.

l The last book is "The Fourth Book of Athlyi Called Precaution".

l This is followed by a series of catechism-style questions and answers wherein Garvey, Davis and Poston are proclaimed to be the saviors of the "down trodden children of Ethiopia".

l Together with the Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy by Fitz Balintine Pettersburg and

l  Leonard P. Howell's The Promise Key, the Holy Piby is today recognized as a root document of Rastafari thought.

It actually defined the Rasta by presenting  

v His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, as Christ or as the second coming of Christ.

v Haile Selassie I is presented as Christ in His Kingly Character as written in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 5 and Marcus Mosia Garvey, as a prophet.

The Three Apostles: Marcus Garvey,  Robert Lincoln Poston and Henrietta Vinton Davis


The original edition of the Holy Piby was published in the United States, at Newark, New Jersey, in 1924. You can download a free copy in pdf form here.  http://www.hh-bb.com/holy-piby.pdf


“In heaven there are few while in hell there are many. But those who are in heaven are the Champions of time who have conquered over sin and slothfulness."
"The fool slights the things in life and seeketh heaven after death.
"Verily, Verily I say unto you, he shall not find it. But the spirit of him that establishes a heaven on earth shall dwell in heaven everlasting.”
―  The Holy Piby

The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
By Fitz Balintine Pettersburg


You can download a copy at http://hh-bb.com/royal-parchment-scroll.pdf

The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy is a text from Jamaica, written during the 1920s by a proto-Rastafari preacher, Fitz Balintine Pettersburg. Along with The Holy Piby and Leonard P. Howell's The Promise Key, the Royal Parchment Scroll is today recognized as one of the root documents of Rastafari thought.  The book professes Black Supremacy and self-determination under “Afro Centric Ethiopian constructs”.

It is a reinterpretation of bible in terms of Black Supremacy.  Here are a few sample statements which gives the tone of the book.


Chapter 8

Black Supremacy, The Church Triumphant is Perfect Baptism, K.A.Q.O.
We fully appreciate the Baptism of Black Supremacy, Our Triumph over white Supremacy, Our SLAVE MASTER.
His and Her Majesty KING ALPHA and QUEEN OMEGA The King of Kings, KNEW The Perfect Value of Holy Baptism UNDER Water, and they taught us how to appreciate The Power of Holy Baptism.
Now Ethiopia and Africa and Egypt and Vast Creation of Black Supremacy will plant their seeds on the Soil of Black Supremacy.
And we have no Pardon to beg white supremacy, no favors to ask her, for she is an ACKNOWLEDGE Deceiver.
From B.C. 4004 to A.D. Second Score, she faked all Christianity.
Black Supremacy The Church Triumphant have Denounced Her openly.
Baptism is a very important Subject to Black Supremacy . Ethiopia is a Baptized Dynasty.

Every Black Man and Woman is Black Supremacy, and must Rush his and her BAPTISM. His and Her Biblical Sovereign Queen Lula May Fitz Balintine Pettersburgh, King of Kings.

Chapter 35 

Adam and Eve, and Abraham, Anglo-Saxon peoples-are all white.
s.s.s.s. I am his and her Arch sovereign of Most Holy Time, His and Her Perfect Virginity, King Alpha and Queen Omega, His and Her Dynasty Queen Lula May Fitz Balintine Pettersburgh, Owner of Creation.

We are Black Supreme Crown Head of Most Holy Time, The Pay Master and Keeper of The Perfect Tree of Life.

We are Creators of Creation. Dynasties and Kingdoms, Holy Genealogy and Holy Theocracy, and Celestial and Terrestrial Mediator if you wish to know Our Professions.

Chapter 39.

There is no Book of Isaac, nor his Father Abraham in the New Testament.
Father, most sacred and Ever Living God, Heaven and Earth's Creator.
And there's is no "Book" in the Bible for the Anglo-Saxon Creation, Most Living and Eternal and Ever Living Sovereign, Owner of Life.
Adam-Abraham-Angle-Saxon, is not entitled to any ETERNAL…

Chapter 40

My dear Ethiopia, Creation Vast, is now Ethiopian Triumphant Dynasty.
The Ethiopian is the CROWN HEAD of this Earth Field since Heaven and Earth has been BUILT by the Living God.
Thank and Praise the Ever Living God, as long as Eternal Ages Roll.
We are your Parents, His and Her Triumphant Dynasty, King Alpha and Queen Omega, the Keepers of The TREE OF LIFE.
We are not any family at all to Adam and Eve and Abraham and Isaac, and the Anglo-Saxon Slave-Owners.

For that is exactly how His Majesty King Noah the Black Monarch was DROWN at Antediluvia by Adam-Abraham, THE ANARCHY.
Judge Samson lost his TRIBUNAL and his life by marrying the Philistine white woman. See Judges 14, 15 & 16 Chapters.

'King Alpha and Queen Omega' were identified as Fitz Balintine Pettersburg and his wife

King James Bible

The King James Version of the Bible is the most popular Holy Bible and is the one used by Rastafarians. It was published in 1611 and has been the Standard English version for nearly 400 years. They believe that all other versions are corrupt and this version is the closest to the original manuscripts. Like Christians, the Rastafarians believe that the 66 books of the bible tell the account of God’s actions, purpose for creation and man’s redemption. However their interpretation of many of the books, passages and prophecies in the Bible are very different. Many passages are attributed a reference to the Emperor Haile Selassie. Rastafarians are avid daily Bible readers.


The Promised Key
“The Promised Key” (published under the Hindu name Gangunguru Maragh which means “teacher of famed wisdom”) by Leonard Percival Howell. It contains the foundations for Rastafari and used many of the same concepts found in The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy (some have accused him of plagiarizing from this book due to the many similarities) and the Holy Piby.


The glory that was Solomon greater still reigns in Ethiopia. We can see all the Kings of the earth surrendering their crowns to His Majesty Ras Tafari the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Earth's Rightful Ruler to reign forever and ever.

Upon His Majesty Ras Tafari 's head are many diadems and on His garments a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords oh come let us adore him for he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, The Conquering Lion of Judah, The Elect of God and the Light of the world.

His Majesty Ras Tafari is the head over all man for he is the Supreme God. His body is the fullness of him that fillet all in all. Now my dear people let this be our goal, forward to the King of Kings must be the cry of our social hope. Forward to the King of Kings to purify our social standards and our way of living, and rebuild and inspire our character. Forward to the King of Kings to learn the worth of manhood and womanhood. Forward to the King of Kings to learn His code of Laws from the mount demanding absolute Love, Purity, Honesty, and Truthfulness. Forward to the King of Kings to learn His Laws and social order, so that virtue will eventually gain the victory over body and soul and that truth will drive away falsehood and fraud. Members of the King of Kings arise for God's sake and put your armor on.

Dear inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, the King of Kings warriors can never be defeated, the Pope of Rome and his agents shall not prevail against the King of Kings host warriors you all must stand up, stand up, for the King of Kings.

All ye warriors of the King of Kings lift high King Alpha's Royal Banner, from victory to victory King Alpha shall lead his army till every enemy is vanquished…………..

Black People, Black People arise and shine for the light has come and the glory of the King of Kings is now risen upon thee. Let not the preachers of the white man's doctrine persuade you to turn your back against H. M. Ras Tafari the Lord God of Israel. Every man was created for the earth in order that he might have and enjoy the fullness of the richness of the Earth.

The white man's doctrine has forced the black man to forsake silver and gold and seek Heaven after death. It has brought us to live in disgrace and die in dishonor. Now we the black man have found out that their doctrine was only a trick, and all their intention was to make themselves strong and to fool the black man.

As I G. G. Maragh speak unto you, this is a very serious affair and must not be forsaken. The wise black man woman and children gaining knowledge diligently toward the truth of H. M. Ras Tafari Kingdom must be had before one could possibly receive the truth, for he is King of Kings and Lords of Lords, therefore he is earth's rightful ruler. In this name alone will the black people receive happiness. His throne is forever and ever and a Scepter of righteousness is the Scepter of his Kingdom..

Kebra Negast


The “Kebra Negast” which literally translates to “Glory Of The Kings” in Amharic, (the Ethiopian national language), is the National Epic of the Ethiopia State. Rastafarians see it as Prophecy. This is one of the main contentions between Rastafarians and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as they see it as a historical epic of Ethiopian Royalty.

In Këbra Nagast,the author summarizes the prophecies in the Old Testament that concern the Coming of the Messiah, and applies them to Jesus Christ with very considerable skill. And he devotes much space to the Virgin Mary, and quotes numerous passages from the Old Testament, with the view of identifying her symbolically with the Tabernacle of the Covenant.

It also Describe How the Kingdom of David was Transferred from Jerusalem to Ethiopia and the reason thereof.


Following this emphasis, in 1919 Garvey founded the Black Star Line, to provide transportation back to Africa and to establish trade and commerce between America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Canada and Africa. The company owned and operated three ships which were owned and operated by black people and made travel and trade possible between their United States, Caribbean, Central American, and African stops. Black Star Line failed in 1921 and ended its operations because of expensive repairs, discontented crews, and top-level mismanagement and corruption..Early in 1922 Garvey was indicted on mail fraud charges regarding the Black Star Line's stock sale. Garvey was convicted and imprisoned. President Coolidge commuted his 5-year sentence.  He was released after serving three years in federal prison and was deported to Jamaica.


He also started his news paper “The Negro World”

The S.S. Yarmouth, Black Star Line,
New York City, 1923


He also started the Negro Factories Corporation to encourage black economic independence to start production of marketable products with black people in control in all main centers of the world where they existed.  Convinced that black people should have a permanent homeland in Africa, Garvey sought to develop Liberia. He founded by the American Colonization Society in the 19th century as a colony to free blacks from the United States.The UNIA became the largest mass movement in African-American history, and attracted followers throughout the Caribbean, Africa, South America, and Great Britain


The Black Star fleet did carry passengers on several journeys from New York to Central America and the Caribbean, but it never reached Liberia. As the line faced bankruptcy resulting from shady dealings by some UNIA officials, the federal government launched an unrelenting investigation of the man millions revered as the "Black Messiah." He was convicted in 1925 of defrauding investors, sentenced to five years in prison, and, after serving half of his term, deported to Jamaica. .Garvey also unsuccessfully tried to persuade the government of Liberia in west Africa to grant land on which black people from America could settle. In 1922, Garvey was arrested for mail fraud in connection with the sale of stock in the Black Star Line, which had now failed. Although there were irregularities connected to the business, the prosecution was probably politically motivated, as Garvey's activities had attracted considerable government attention. Garvey was sent to prison and later deported to Jamaica. In 1935, he moved permanently to London where he died on 10 June 1940. In 1964, his body was returned to Jamaica where he was declared the country's first national hero.
Garvey is considered to be the Prophet of Rastaferian Religious Movement.

Garvey was a powerful orator and preached in the idioms of Ethiopia as a symbol of the black power. He routinely used the phrase

"Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God."



Garvey also made a reference that black people need to see God in their own image. Just as the white see their God as white, the black should see their God as black. Garvey is reputed to have prophesied thus:
 "Look to Africa where a black king will be crowned and when you see that the day of deliverance will be near."
So Garvey's teachings formed a foundation for what would become Rastafari. All of this—Ethiopianism, Garveyism and Biblical literacy—kind of came together to form the basis of Selassie's divinity that began to be preached in the early 1930s. It's about reclaiming an African identity, about seeing one's self through the spectacles of Ethiopia.


Marcus Garvey prophesied the coming of Haile Selassie I, because in his philosophy he stated that black people must look to the east,through the spectacles of Ethiopia for their God and King. In the crowning of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I in 1930, on the Throne of David, the followers of Marcus Garvey saw  a revelation that Jah (God) had manifested himself as King upon the Earth.

Soon after the coronation

The editorial of Garvey’s newspaper, the Blackman, to the coronation of Ras Tafari published on 8 November 1930, six days after the coronation said:
The Psalmist prophesied that Princes would come out of Egypt and Ethiopia would stretch forth her hands unto God. We have no doubt that the time is now come. Ethiopia is now really stretching forth her hands. This great kingdom of the East has been hidden for many centuries, but gradually she is rising to take a leading place in the world and it is for us of the Negro race to assist in every way to hold up the head of Emperor Ras Ta.fari.

This gave  the followers of Garvey a new inspiration. It was they who were the first expounders of the Rastafarian faith

Garvey certainly had a great impact in the freedom struggle of many African nations.  Kwame Nkruma, the first president of Ghana says:”Long before many of us were even conscious of our own degradation, Marcus Garvey fought for African national and racial equality.  I think that of all the literature I studied, the book that did more than any other to fire my enthusiasm was “The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey”

Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya has this to day: “in 1921, Kenyan nationalists, unable to read, would gather round a reader of Garveys news paper The Negro World and listen to an article two or three times. Then they would run various ways through the forest, carefully to repeat the whole, which they had memorized, to Africans hungry for some doctrine which lifted them from the servile consciousness in which Africans lived."

Martin Luther King Jr., in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail.”:"Marcus Garvey was the first man of color in the history of the United States to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale, and level, to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny, and make the Negro feel that he was somebody."

The carribean black slaves as in all America and the New World retained the memory of the painful past that was associated with the capture, transfer and putting to work as slaves.  The black people were seen as sub-human, non Adamic, pre-Adamic creatures. The traits associated with being black were demonized while the qualities of Caucasians were promoted as superior. The message of Christianity was manipulated in order to assuage the consciences of slave owners and validate the enslavement of a fellow human being and expected by God. The extreme cruelty we saw in the treatmet of blacks was tolerated,to the extent that instantenous death was far better than life. This evidently is shown as is to be expected in the history  of slavery in the ongoind rebellion and revolt on a continuous basis.  Even after freedom these memories remained. The only remedy was to rebuild the self esteem.  This is what led to the development of Rastafarian Movement. In Jamaica it took the spiritual religious form as opposed to Marxian materialism of other parts of the world.  It all started from Christian Liberation seeing Moses and Jesus the divine agents..  But the issue was how to make the black people to identify the liberated in the Old Testament and the people under liberation in Christ.  This is where the the eternal promise of the return of Jesus to take his people back home played its part. In order to bring justice, a complete reversal of the social order has to take place - Blacks over White. This is exactly the story of Rasta.

Black Liberation Army



Though we are directly dealing with the Black Power Movement as a liberation theology within the  Christian Biblical base in Jamaica, there were similar organizations which were active in other geographical areas.  America found the Black Liberation Movement in 1970 -1981. It was in 1964 that I passed through United States of America on my way to Jamaica where I have seen the remnants of slavevery and state of the black as a class that needed to free themselves from shackles of poverty and mental subjugation by the predominant white population.


These movements were active from 1970 to 1981 as an active movement with the aim of liberation and self determination of the black people as in other Carribean islands and was called Black Panther Party. Their idealogy included Anti-capitalism, Anti-imperialism,Black nationalism,Black separatism,Feminism and in political area - Socialism.  This movement eventually turned out to be an armed terrorist movement to became finally “the May 19th Communist Organization.  This Black Liberation Army (BLA) went underground  with the declared aim "Take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States."  The BLA carried out a series of bombings,  hijacking of airline flights, killings of police officers and drug dealers, robberies (which participants termed "expropriations"), and prison breaks until the country brought them into subjugation and stopped terrorism.

It is in contrast to the liberation without and outside of God that we should be looking at the Rastafari movement and its current form after the tragedy of the death of HIM Haile Selassie.

Leonard Percival Howell
The first person to include a spiritual implication leading to a Liberation Spirituality was Leonard Percival Howell.


Leonard Percival Howell was born in the Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. on June 16th, 1898.  In the 1920’s he left Jamaica on a ship to the United States of America, where he continued his studies and returned to Jamaica in 1932 and went round on a speaking tour all around Jamaica. A small group of followers were formed.  They were initially known as the Howellites.  Later when his teachings were formalized they called themselves Rastafarians.


Leonard Percival Howell, known as the First Rasta


According to one police reporter this is what Howell said, 

“The Lion of Judah has broken the chain, and we of the black race are now free. George the Fifth is no more our King. George the Fifth has sent his third son down to Africa in 1928 to bow down to our new King Ras Tafair. Ras Tafair is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Black people must not look to George the Fifth as their King anymore — Ras Tafair is their king too...The negro is now free and the white people will have to bow to the Negro Race.” At the end of the meeting, he said “You must sing the National Anthem, but before you start, you must remember that you are not singing it for King George the Fifth, but for Ras Tafair our new king."


Queen Elizabeth bowing down to Haile Selassie

 At the coronation of Haile Selassie, the Duke was to represent his father, the Anglo-Saxon King. The Duke handed to His Majesty Rastafari the King of Kings and Lord of lords a Scepter of solid gold twenty seven inches long, which had been taken from the hands of Ethiopia some thousand years ago.

The Duke fell down on bending knees before His Majesty Ras Tafari the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and spoke in a loud voice and said, "Master, Master my father has sent me to represent him sir. He is unable to come and he said that he will serve you to the end Master." See Psalm 72: 9 to 11 verses, also see Gen. 49 chap. 10 verse.


Howell Defended his claim that Haile Selassie was the second coming of Jesus the Mesiah himself in the Colonial Court in the Morant Bay. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for sedition by the chief justice of Jamaica, Robert William Lyall-Grant.

The Daily Gleaner of 17 March 1934 announced the news thus:

“DENOUNCED as a fraud by the Chief Justice, Leonard Howell, the self-made disciple of Ras Tafari, King of Abyssinia, and exponent of the doctrine that Ras Tafari is The Messiah returned to earth, was given a two—year term of imprisonment yesterday in the St Thomas

Circuit Court at Morant Bay.”


The remains of the Pinnacle today

Leonard Howell in his book The Promise Key written in 1935 under the pen name G.G. Maragh gives the 6. Rastafari 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.

(Maragh, G. G. 1935)


 The 1977 book The Rastafarians, The Dreadlocks of Jamaica by scholar Leonard Barrett who lists what he regards as the six basic principles of Rastafari. He developed the list by attending public meetings and through anthropological research into the movement.

1. Haile Selassie I is the Living God

2. The Black person is the reincarnation of ancient Israel, who, at the hand of the White person, has been in exile in Jamaica

3. The White person is inferior to the Black person

4. Jamaica is hell; Ethiopia is heaven

5. The Invincible Emperor of Ethiopia is now arranging for expatriated persons of African origin to return to Ethiopia

6. In the near future Blacks shall rule the world

Thus began the Ras Tafari Movement of Jamaica. The growth of the movement of hastened when he bought 500 acres of land a in 1939,and founded Jamaica’s first self-sufficient agro-industrial black community in the hills of St. Catherine. Thousands of Jamaican blacks started a mini-exodus to form a nucleus of an independent nation - “the new Kingdom of Ras” - within the Island of Jamaica.  This became a threat to the Government of Jamaica which eventually destroyed it in 1954 under orders from the then Prime Minister Bustamante.   Jamaica was still under the British. A battalion of soldiers, raided Pinnacle and destroyed it completely. Many of the residence of Pinnacle moved to another Rasta Village in Coral Gardens, which started in 1940.  Even that was destroyed later in 1969. The Rastafarians rebuilt Pinnacle to some extent and Howell died there in 1981. Apparently before his death he claimed the worship of the Ras instead of Haile Selassie. People think that he went mad and he died in a mental assylum.

Pinncacle was the birth place and the epicenter of the Rastafarian movement.

The experimentation of naturalism led to the development of a myriad of herbal root concoctions such as tonics, and medicines that are still produced today. Unique creative art forms emerged during this period of Black Renaissance. The grassroots poetry movement known as Dub Poetry, Intuitive Art Masters, and world renowned musicians were spawned and inspired by The Pinnacle.  

A mural of Leonard Howell in Tredegar Park, near where the first Rastafari community was formed in the 1930s, Spanish Town, Jamaica, January 4, 2014.

The Daily Gleaner, special magazine section, November 23, 1940
on Pinnacle Community formation






Mansions of Rastafari




This was the place where the Rastafarian mantra of “oneness” was conceived.

Howell’s favorite song:

“ We are not divided all one family
One in hope and justice
One in charity
We are going to a land where milk and honey flow
We are not divided – All one family.”

Even though they emphasize the oneness of all humanity, in the umbrella of Rastaferians there are sever groups with differing belief systems and practices. These groups are known as Mansions of Rastafari. The term is taken from the Biblical verse in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions."

Such groups include the , the Niyabinghi, Bobo Ashanti, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and several smaller groups, including African Unity, Covenant Rastafari, Messianic Dreads and the Selassian Church.  Howell designed the first divine structure and principles of what is now known as the “Nyabinghi Order”.


Rastafarians often refer to InI which is basic to their theology.  It is to be understood as God I AM that is inside of Me. Since the Spirit of God resides in the human body as its temple, every human is a temple of God, the complete humanity becomes the Church of God.  A part of God is in every one so I in I in Jamaican parlor Patois becomes  “InI”, "I and I" is the representation of One Love, which means that because we (I & I) are the same, we should love one another like we love our own self.  Instead of saying “You and Me” we should be saying,” I and I” which in Jamaican Patois becomes “InI”

Mansion A: Nyabinghi Order”.


H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Theocracy Reign

InI Father who art in Zion, Ila be the I name
The I Kingman come, The I will be done on earth as it is in Zion.
Give InI this day InI Ila lamb's bread,
Forgive InI sins as InI forgive those who sin against InI
Lead InI not in temptation, and Iliver InI from evil
For the I is the Kingman of Power and Glory,


Order of the Nyahbinghi



 According to oral tradition, in the 1700s, a queen, named Nyabinghi, was sovereign over the Kingdom of Karagwe,in modern Tanzani. Queen Nyabinghi then married Ruhinda who killed her to control her kingdom. The Nyabinghi cult started soon afterwards, as a feminist movement

The Nyahbinghi Order (also known as Haile Selassie I Theocratical Order of the Nyahbinghi Reign) is the oldest of all the Rastafari mansions, named after Queen Niyabinghi, a 19th-century Ugandan ruler who fought against the British Empire.  Muhumuza was the widow of one of the Kingdoms of Rwanda towards the end of the 19th century and became the priestess and leader of the Nyabhinghi cult who fought against the slave traders of her time. She died in 1944.  But her spirit survived fighting the British in their slave trade. (https://everlivingroots.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/african-warrior-queen


· Nyahbinghi is the oldest of all the Rastafarian subgroups.

· Nyahbinghi attempts to keep the link between Rastafarian faith and African heritage close.

· The group is named after Queen Nyahbinghi who ruled Uganda in the 19th Century and helped reduce the influence of colonial powers.

· The name Nyahbinghi is believed to mean 'Death to all Oppressors'.

· The focus of this group is on the veneration of Haile Selassie, who is regarded by them as the embodiment of God.

· Ethiopia is very important to the sect who emphasise the repatriation of blacks to Africa.

· The Nyahbinghi regard water, air and fire as representations of the elements of life. Fire is believed to represent the wrath of Jah pouring down on Babylon.

· Nyahbinghi eat organic produce only, such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and barks, and avoid the consumption of salt.

· Nyahbinghi take part in regular Groundations, often called Nyahbinghi Groundations. The word 'groundation' means affirmation of life through earth.

· The importance of Ethiopia to Nyahbinghi:

o The flag tends to have the colour green first. The Nyahbinghi flag also features a lion in the centre, reflecting the Lion of Judah - Haile Selassie I.

o Nyahbinghi observe the Ethiopian Sabbath, Tuesday.

o Nyahbinghi try to use the Ethiopian language, Amharic.

Mansion B: Bobo AShanti

Bobo Shanti Congress or Ethiopia Black International Congress

The Bobo Shanti movement was founded in 1958 in Jamaica, by Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards  (1915 –1994) , considered by many to be the black Christ. The "triune" positions of the Bobo Shanti trinity are as follows; Haile Selassie is regarded as the King of Kings a prophet sent by God, Garvey is perceived to be a prophet and Emmanuel, a High Priest and he is also believed to be Melchizedek of the Bible

Bobo Shanti is a spiritual Rastafari movement founded in 1958 in Spanish Town Jamaica, by King or Prince Edward Emmanuel Charles Edward the 7th , who was also known as the Lord's Servant or Melchizedec. He was the first Rastafari "leader" to hold an all island Rasta Convention/ Groundation in Kingston, Jamaica in March 1958. His camp was dejected from many locations throughout Kingston until they finally settled the Bobo Camp at Zion Hill "the City on a Hill" in Bull Bay.


The word Bobo Shanti is derived from Bobo, which stands for Black and Ashanti, which is a African tribe from Kumasi, Ghana. It is believed that most of the slaves brought to Jamaica were from the Ashanti tribe and are the ancestors of many Jamaicans.

Bobo Shanti are known as the Priestical House of Rastafari, also called EABIC (Ethiopian Africa Black International Congress/ Church of Salvation), Who live separate from society, and function similarly to the Accompong Maroons, even though it is not official, like an independent nation within Jamaica with InI own constitution. They do not accept the values and lifestyle of the general Jamaican society. InI lifestyle closely emulates those of the Old Testament Jewish Mosaic Law, which includes the observation of the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday (or 6 PM), No work is allowed during the Sabbath and the consumption of salt and oil is avoided, we wear the robe and turban, and observe the ten commandments.

Women in the church wear clothes down to their ankles and cover their heads. Bobo Shanti women also keep a 21-day "purification principle' related to their menstrual cycle. This limits the number of days woman can interact with men and are allowed to enter the tabernacle and participate in ceremonies.

The Bobo Shanti camps usually do not have electricity, or televisions or radios. We read psalms and chant routinely in the morning, mid-morning to noon and evening. We deal with Niyahbinghi music, the Niyahbinghi drums are the natural heartbeat; anything else does not represent Bobo Shanti. The Bobo Shanti are self-sufficient, by making and selling straw hats and brooms to support the community and grow InI own fruits, vegetables and herbs. The members of this order do not smoke Herb in public as it is only reserved for worship among members.
International Freedom, Redemption, Repatriation, and establishing a Free Black Africa are part of the Bobo Shanti mission.

Holy Trinity Concept in Bob Shanti

Elijah, Moses, Yahshua
Garvey, Howell and Haile Selassie


When Yahshua transfigured there were two other figures on the mountain with him that appeared (Moses and Elijah), in this way Haile Selassie I transfigured with Marcus Mosiah Garvey as Elijah and King Emmanuel as father Moses. But as the Father and Son are one, just as Yahshua, Moses and Elijah formed that trinity on the mountain, we the house of the Bobo Shanti see these three man as three different man in flesh but in one entity and spirit, as spirit has no boundaries.
Now Christ means anointed person or Messiah in Hebrew, we say Ha Masheak meaning Messiah or Mashiah.
Moses is also seen as the Black Christ because he was the anointed Messiah of his time to redeem the house of Ysrayl. There are several titles for King Emmanuel as in terms of the Messiah and the God Head, we call him king Jacob, Abraham, Father Moses, Yesus The Black Christ, Haile Selassie I In his Priestly Character, Melchizedec Etc.
We know many will contest these reasonings and concepts but this is how we see the Almighty YAH. In three persons Marcus Garvey being father, King Emmanuel our son, and Haile Selassie I Our Holy One.
Bobo Shanti wear brightly coloured turbans and long flowing robes.
Women in Bobo Shanti must cover their arms and legs.
Bobo Shanti members live apart from society. Their current base is in Bull Bay, Jamaica.They do not accept the laws and principles of Jamaican society.
Elements of their daily life reflect Old Testament Jewish Mosaic Law:


l Honouring the Sabbath, from sundown on Friday.

l During the Sabbath the use of salt and oil is avoided and no work can be carried out.

l Special rules for menstruating women.

l Special group greetings.

l In the Bobo Shanti community men conduct religious gatherings, and are referred to as Priests.

l Bobo Shanti fast twice a week and on the first day of every month.

The word Bobo means black. Ashanti was the name of an African tribe from Kumasi in Ghana. Bobo Shanti fly their flag in a different way to other Rasta groups. They fly the Red, Gold and Green flag with Red at the top, while other groups fly it the other way up.

MANSION C: Twelve Tribes of Israel



Twelve Tribes of Israel headquarters in Shashamane, Ethiopia

Haile Selassie met with Rasta elders in Addis Ababa in the 1950s. In 1955, he offered 500 acres of his personal land to black people wishing to return to Africa. Around 2,200 blacks, mainly Rastafarians, moved to the land (in Shashemene) during the 1960s. A Rasta community established  in Shashamane, Ethiopia. After Haile Selassie’s death. the community faced many problems; 500 acres were confiscated by the Marxist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. There were also conflicts with local Ethiopians, who largely regarded the incoming Rastas, and their Ethiopia-born children, as foreigners. The Shashamane community peaked at a population of 2000, although subsequently declined to around 200. Essentially the community ceased because of the new regimes which renounced the Ethiopian Royalty.

Rastafarian tabernacle in Shashamene


The Twelve Tribes Of Israel (TTOI) was founded on February 25, 1968 by the Prophet Gad, Doctor Vernon Carrington, who resided at Davis Lane in Trench Town, Jamaica. He was a member of The Ethiopian World Federation, founded by Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. This Mansion emerged from his heart after being inspired by reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation a chapter a day. This method of studying the Bible later became one of the pillars of the mansion.




Gad began keeping meetings in Trench Town seeking the first Twelve Brethren and Twelve Sistrens to become the executive Body of the Twelve Tribes Of Israel. Sister Vie or Sister Dinah, brother Gad's wife played a positive role in supporting him on this journey, and presently she still retains the post of Sis Dinah after more then forty years. Brother Dan 1st Chambers remains as an original Executive member.


He also had overseers called “”shepherds” that watch over the tribes that are not in Gad’s presence. There are 49 Executive Members who each hold a "seat on the bench." The 49 is comprised of 12 First Brethren and 12 Second Brethren, 12 First Sistren and 12 Second Sistren, and Sister Dinah, who represents Dinah, daughter of Jacob. Altogether, they split into Twelve Tribes, each one standing for a Tribe of Israel, a month, a color, a body part, and an apostle of Yahshua.


The Twelve Tribes of Israel are the most liberal of the Rastafari mansions, compared to the Nyahbinghi and Bobo Shanti Orders which have more restrictions in InI livity. The TTOI have less strict principles except for one; We must Love all mankind.


The Prophet, Brother Gad, taught about the Iception of All for One and One for All, and that there can be no failure in operating in that manner.


The TTOI hold the faith that salvation is for people of all races within Rastafari. whereas the prime attention of other Rastafari Mansions was primarily on African descendants, the cause of this is mainly because of how the white race have proved themselves to be throughout our time: making slaves out of InI and being the root of most evil being done in the world now and throughout history  


The Twelve Tribes of Israel live by the teachings of Ras Tafari, King Haile Selassie I.

So aspects of this mansion resemble more to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity as this is His Majesties Faith. Because of this people of the other Christian religions can easily identify with InI because of the similarities in faith. As also for the Jews, for who it would only be logical that they honor or have at least some Raspect and interest for the last King of Ysrayl in an unending line of Kings stemming from King David. Muslims could also find some peace with them, as His Majesty had an Islamic mother and His Wife Empress Menen, Asfaw Wosen, is said to be a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.


These are three main staples in the faith of TTOI.



They call on one and all to read the Bible one chapter a day,
and work for the restoration of the Monarchy in Ethiopia
and the Repatriation of the diasporans to Africa and forward to the New Yerusalem in Ethiopia.


The second staple is that Yes-us Christ is the only way to salvation.

The third keystone of the Mansion is the restoration of the ancient monarchy in Ethiopia the Kingdom of David. the scepter or throne will never depart from David.




Haile Selassie is seen as a divinely anointed King in the lineage of King David and King Solomon. While he is considered a type/representation of The Messiyah in Kingly Character, He is not seen as Yahshua the Messiyah/Yesus Kristos himself, but a representative of the everlasting Davidic covenant, which is to be fulfilled by The Messiah Yahshua/ I-Yesus Kristos when he returns as The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Yahuda.


Some believe Haile Selassie was a physical, (symbolic) embodiment or manifestation of the Holy Spirit, or the second coming of Yesu himself. At anyrate he is the one who will be "sent in my name" and "bring all things into remembrance."  The prophet's teachings are not forced on InI and leave a lot leverage and space. Gad  believed in reincarnations and that Christ will reincarnate again and again.


The Jews of today are the ancient Ysraylite. But some believe that the ancient Ysraylites, the Priests, Prophets and Kings of the Bible were indeed black African to begin with.


"There is no hair doctrine. You see,Salvation is by grace through Christ. So hair can't save you."





The Testimony of Bro Karl Naphtali Phillpotts:


What I Testify as My Understanding of the Growth and Development of the Theology and Faith of Rastafari Followers of H.I.M Haile Selassie I. by Karl Phillpotts Naphtali.

1.We accept the Holy Bible, the Ible from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, as the inspired Word of The Most High, The Father of the Universe.

2.We accept that God is a Spirit, the Creative Word, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, for the Father seeketh such to Worship Him. (John4:23-24)

3.We accept that man's body is the Temple of the living God, and therefore is His Chief instrument. (1Corinthians3:16, 6:19)

4.We accept and proclaim with all our heart, soul, mind and strength that Jesus, (known in our Hebrew tongue as Yeshua) who trod the earth 2000 years ago, is The Messiah, The Christ, The only begotten Son of The Father and The Saviour and Redeemer of Mankind. That He lived the perfect life and paid for our redemption from the curse of the Law, by His innocent blood (Hebrew9:11-15, 22) And because no sin was found in Him, in that He was obedient to the Father even unto death, it was impossible for Death, the curse of the Law, to have dominion over Him. He therefore died for our sins and rose for our justification, laying down mortality and putting on immortality. And as such, being the first fruits of them that slept (Romans5v19) and restored to the original form that Adam was created, (i.e. immortal) it is Him Jesus who has fulfilled the seed that would come (Genesis3:15) to bruise the head of the serpent, the devil, and will restore mankind to immortality and the Creation to perfection, in the Age to come. When he returns to overthrow the existing social, political, economic, and religious disorder and establish Gods Righteous Kingdom here on the earth (Daniel 2 :44, Isiah54:21-2). He will reign from the throne of David, from a New Jerusalem, and the resurrected Saints and the living Faithful will reign with Him as Kings and Priests upon the earth (Rev5 :10).

5. We accept that Until then, as the Scripture teaches, The Kingdom of God will remain in the hands of the Sons of David, (2Chronicles 13:5,8) to whom it was given by an everlasting Covenant, (Davidic Covenant, 2 Samuel 7) as long as the Sun and Moon endure. This throne of God, established in the Royal House of David and King Solomon (2Chronicles 9: 8) was transmitted to the Ethiopian Royal House via the Queen of Sheba who carried the Royal Seed from Solomon to Ethiopia.

6. The Kings of Ethiopia, descended from King David and King Solomon through Menelek1 are therefore of Divine origin, meaning that their throne was established by The Eternal Himself, when the children of Israel asked for a King, mainly because with their `fleshy' minds they could not understand that the Eternal was their King. (1Samuel 8:1-9; Psm 10:16; 1Tim 1:17)

7. We as Rastafarians of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will never relinquish the Divinity of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie1. By this we mean that according to the anointing he has received, according to the Royal tradition, (1Samuel 16:12-13) the Spirit of The Most High rests upon him and His Words are in his mouth and speaks by his tongue. (2Samuel 23:2-3) We accept His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie1 to be the 225th restorer of the Solomonic Dynasty. Therefore according to the Messianic Anointing he has received, His Imperial Majesty represents the Father and His Christ. We therefore hold that The Eternal Word, Manifested in Our Lord (Master) Jesus the Christ (Anointed) has been revealed to us the Rastafarian brethren and sisters of the twelve tribes of Israel through the personality of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie1.

8.As we accept that God is a Spirit, in the physical absence of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1, the throne as promised will continue in the hands of the sons of David UNTIL Shiloh comes. Let it be noted that as His Imperial Majesty has appointed Crown Prince Zere Yacob Asfa Wossen Haile Selassi 1, (14th April,1974) his successor to the throne of David, we accept that the throne is now in his hands. (See last two formal pronouncements of Emperor Haile Selassie1 in Edward Ullendorff's Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol.22, 1977;pp209-210) And this Monarchy, wherever residing, will continue as a Light to the fact that the House of David will hold, preserve, and be custodians of this throne in the earth until Shiloh, comes.

9. We accept that the Scepter, that is, the Divine Authority to rule in God's stead or Custodianship of God's throne will not leave the House of Judah, Until Shiloh comes (Genesis 49:10). Kings from this House have come and have gone, but the one whose right it is (Shiloh) will be seated upon the throne from everlasting to everlasting, not temporarily or over a temporary dispensable Kingdom (St.Luke1:31-32). This means that He that is to come will be the immortal King ruling eternally. He is the Lamb that was slain, (Rev 5: 9–10) 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, and rose from the grave and He whom the Heavens must retain, ((Acts3: 20-21) UNTIL the restoration of all things spoken of by the Prophets since the world began (Acts 3: 25-26). It is this same Jesus (Hebrew13v8, Acts1v11) the Lamb of God that was found worthy and is now seated at the right hand of the Father Until He Has put all enemies under His feet. It is He Jesus, the non-cohabited body of Christ who will inaugurate the Kingdom of God in the Age to come, the Millennium, the reign of Christ for a thousand years. His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie1 and the Royal House is the cohabited body of Christ who holds the throne until Shiloh comes.

10. We believe that what has been preached in the name of Christ and in the name of Christianity by most Churches, has too often been a doctrine about Jesus but not what Jesus taught. (Galatians1:6-8). We believe that when the Roman and Greek mind took over the interpretation of the Scriptures, instead of the Hebrew mind, the world was deceived into believing in another Jesus, the image of a Greek god, rather than the historical Jesus, the Son of God. (Rev.12:9) Jesus was sent by His Father to proclaim or herald the Good News about the coming Kingdom of God to earth and that we were to repent and believe in this message for the Kingdom was at hand or near. (Luke 4v43, Mark 1:14-15). When we accept this Word, this seed, this message, we conceive and new life, a new birth occurs in us, (born again) and `quickens' us towards immortality in the Age to come. It is in understanding and belief upon the Words that Jesus spoke that gives life, the seed of immortality. (Luke 8:11-12). And we must also accept that it is His blood that paid the ransom to open the gates of immortality once again as it was in the beginning before the fall of Man. So shall it be in the end, when all the Saints that sleep will be awakened, or resurrected with an immortal glorious body and the creation restored to its glorious state, as it was in the beginning (Philippians3:20-21) (Acts24:14-15, & 26:28-23)

11. Those who embrace this Hope, this Faith that the Twelve Tribes of Israel waited earnestly for day and night, have the Faith of Abraham and all the prophets of God. Those are therefore the seed of Abraham and therefore inheritors of the promises made to Abraham. This is the Promise of a land - grant, not in the sky but right here on earth where the Meek shall inherit the land or earth. It is promised to the Faithful, IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE, NATIONALITY, OR GENDER. These are the Israel of God, the New Israel. To them will be given the disputed land when Messiah returns. Those who have suffered for this faith in Messiah (Christ), in the regeneration, they will be given twelve thrones, Judging (administering) the 12 tribes of Israel. (Luke22v29-30)

12. Until then we believe that Ethiopia is our place of refuge, as Jacob took refuge in the tents of Ham. We accept the legitimate right of all African descendants to Repatriate to the land of our forefathers, Africa. The land given to us by our King in Shashamane should be developed to sustain ourselves during the Great tribulation. This is also part of the Holy Land.

13. We accept that as followers of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie1, (whose pre- coronation name was Ras Tafari) we MUST study and obey His teachings and follow his example and not the traditions, sayings of anyone which are contrary to his words or the Holy Bible. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1, Himself a follower of Jesus, and holding the title of Defender of the Faith and leader of the most ancient Christian Nation on earth, Ethiopia, has commanded us to: "…arise with the spiritual zeal and earnestness which characterized the Apostles and early Christians and let us lead our brothers and sisters to Our Saviour Jesus, Who only gives life in its fullest sense". If we claim to love Him we should follow His example and Teachings.

14.We also declare the Prophet Gad as the Rastafarian who pointed us to the Holy Bible, The Historical Jesus, The identity of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Jerusalem, Shashamanne Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Royal Family. Glory be to the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.



There are some smaller Tribes or Mansions,
the Bongo Dreads,
the Iyesus/jesus Dreads,
the Coptic Church,
Selassie I School of Vision,
the Messianic Dreads,
Remi Rastafari,
The House of Melchizedek,
The Selassie I Church,
The Fulfilled Rastafari,
Zion Rastafari,
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church

African Unity,
Covenant Rastafari,
Muslim Rastafari.

and some more  



Ras Tafari, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I,
Conquering Lion from the Tribe of Yahuda, Elect of Yah, Defender of the Faith and Light of this World, living through the lineage of King David and King Solomon, 225th descendant of King Solomon, heir to the Ark of the Covenant.

One belief that unites all mansions of Rastafari is that Ras Tafari Makonnen, who was crowned Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia on November 2nd, 1930, is the living God incarnate. He was addressed as  Jah in consonance with the name of God YHVH. He is considered as the black Messiah who will lead the  Black people who are under slavery and poverty
distributed all over the Americas back
into a promised land of Ethiopia



This connection of Haile Selassie to the ultimate God head as incarnate was developed as His Imperial Majesty’s coronation titles matched with titles of the Mesiah as described in the book of Revelatioss viz.  King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. There is a long lasting tradition in Ethiopia that Haile Selassie was the 225th descendant of Solomon, through Queen Sheba.  


They often start with the following greeting.

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has revealed himself in the personality of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile King Selassie I the first.

Some Rastafari choose to classify their religion as Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, Protestant Christianity, or Judaism. Of those, the ties to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church are the most widespread. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the Church that Haile Selassie I defends, One of His titles is Defender of the Faith and it is This Faith that he defends. There are major differences between Rastafari and Haile Selassie's Church. The first being the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie as the Messiah/Savior. The church has stated many times that their commission from Emperor Haile Selassie was to lead Rastafarians away from worshiping him and turn to the worshipping of the God he worshipped. It is said that upon his return to Ethiopia from Jamaica, the Emperor spoke to Abuna Yesehaq, the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and declared "There is a problem in Jamaica.... Please, help these people. They are misunderstanding, they do not understand our culture.... They need a church to be established and you are chosen to go."  Abuna Yesehaq did go and start a church in Jamaica. Initially many in the Rastafarian community welcomed the church.  However when it became clear that to be baptized in the church, a Rastafarian had to renounce the divinity of Haile Selassie, the problems started. The church today has continued to maintain the stance that it would only baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and not Haile Selassie.

Rastafari believe that standard translations of the Bible incorporate changes created by the racist white power structure. They uphold that the whites have removed some books and misrepresented some others to assert white superiority. Some also revere the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Negast, but many of these Rastas would classify themselves as Ethiopian Orthodox in religion and Rastafarian in ideology.  

For Rastafari, Selassie I remains their god and their king. They see Selassie as being worthy of worship, and as having stood with great pomp and dignity in front of the world's press and in front of representatives of many of the world's powerful nations. From the beginning the Rastas decided to treat themselves in effect as free citizens of Ethiopia, loyal to its leader and devoted to its flag.

Most Rastafari believe that the Emperor Haile Selassie is in the return of Jesus in person or in some way a reincarnation of Jesus.  The Rastafari asserts that they are the true Israelites the elect of God and Jesus himself was black. 

Rastas call Selassie Jah, or Jah Rastafari, and believe there is great power in these names. Jah stands for the Hebrew YH, the ultimate name of God. They call themselves Rastafari (pronounced Rasta-FAR-I with the last letter asserted as I as in eye) to express the personal relationship each Rasta has with Selassie I. Rastas like to use the ordinal with the name Haile Selassie I, with the dynastic Roman numeral one signifying "the First" deliberately pronounced as the letter I - again as a means of expressing a personal relationship with God. They also like to call him H.I.M. (pronounced him), for His Imperial Majesty.

When Haile Selassie I died in 1975, his death was not accepted by some Rastafarians who could not accept that God incarnate could die. Many believe that it was a scam and that he will be back to liberate his followers. A few Rastas today consider this a partial fulfillment of prophecy found in the apocalyptic 2 Esdras 7:28.

Rastafari is a strongly syncretic Abrahamic religion that draws extensively from the Bible. They particularly like the New Testament Book of Revelation, as this (5:5) is where they find the prophecies about the divinity of Haile Selassie. Rastas believe that they, and the rest of the black race, are descendants of the ancient twelve tribes of Israel, cast into captivity outside Africa as a result of the slave trade.

Some believe that only half of the Bible has been written, and that the other half, stolen from them along with their culture, is written in a man's heart allowing for variation in faith and personal interpretations. This concept also embraced the idea that even the illiterate can be Rastas by reading God's Word in their hearts. Rastas also see the lost half of the bible, and the whole of their lost culture to be found in the Ark of the Covenant, a repository of African wisdom.

Haile Selassie I (1930 – 1974) was the ruler of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. Rastafarians believed Haile Selassie an incarnation of the living God.  He was not a member of the Rastafarian movement.  He simply understood their need for a future. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

Empress Menen Asfaw,
Queen Omega, Living through the lineage of King Solomon and the Prophet Mohammed.

The association of who HIM Haile Selassie differs widely.  Some believe him as YHVH, others as second coming of Yesu and others some with the character of Yesu or even a human with the holy spirit within HIM.


Promised land?





Knowing the deep down desire of every black man to return and reestablish in their native home - Africa - Haile Selassie himself have granted 500 acres of his personal property to anyone who wants to return to Africa in ai48. This was in Shashamane, a small district village town in Ethiopia, the heaven of the Rastafarians.  Between 1952 and 1974 approximately 22 families migrated to Shashamane to take up the offer of the Shashamane land grant.  Here is the Jamaica observer report on what happened.

Rastafarians struggle in Ethiopia
Sunday, November 15, 2015

SHASHAMANE, Ethiopia (AFP) -- They came from across the world to Ethiopia in search of their "promised land", but for many Rastafarians, struggling to win even basic rights, the dream never materialised.

"How did we survive so far? I wonder," said Reuben Kush, the grey-bearded president of the Ethiopian World Federation, a branch of Rastafarianism.

Kush left his home in Birmingham in Britain a decade ago to join a Rastafarian community based in the southern Ethiopian town of Shashamane, 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Addis Ababa.

But in decades of existence, the settlement's around 500 members have failed to win legal rights to property, education or work.

Celebrating the 85th anniversary this month of the 1930 crowning of their messiah, Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, the dreadlocked group sway in a circle chanting to a drum beat "Emperor Selassie I, Jah Rastafari".

Rastafarianism -- which jettisoned to worldwide notice in the 1960s and 70s with the music of reggae stars and committed Rastafarians Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, among others -- first emerged as a spiritual movement in the 1930s among descendants of African slaves in Jamaica, who adopted Haile Selassie as their leader at a time when he stood out as the only independent black monarch in Africa.

They even took their name from his pre-coronation title, "Ras" for "head" and his birth name "Tafari Makonnen". The "King of Kings" was deposed then killed by a military junta in 1974.

A supporter of decolonisation and co-operation among African states then largely under European control, Haile Selassie in the 1950s set aside 500 hectares (1,200 acres) in Shashamane to welcome back descendants of slaves seeking to return "home".

"Ethiopia is our land, for we blacks in the West," said Kush.

Rastafarians say it was the "divinity" of the land that drew them to Ethiopia, mentioned in the Bible more than 30 times and believed to be the birthplace of the Queen of Sheba, who visited the wise King Solomon.

In the late 1970s, Mengistu Haile Mariam's Marxist-Leninist regime confiscated the Shashamane plot, prompting most Rastas to flee its authoritarian rule. When Mengistu's rule was toppled in 1991, some returned. But life in the promised land remains a struggle, with exile followed by exclusion.

"The Emperor had given us 500 hectares -- today we live on six or seven hectares," said Kush. "Today, we have no control over our property."

Though many turned their backs on their country of origin by not renewing their passports, they have not been granted Ethiopian nationality, leaving them effectively stateless. In tightly controlled Ethiopia, still run by Communist-inspired ex-rebels, land is a sensitive issue with Rastas neither allowed to file building permits or own property. Nor can they work, pay taxes or send their children to university.

"What's disappointing is that I have to confess to my relatives back home that we aren't integrated here either," Kush said.

On the recent anniversary of the emperor's coronation, Rastafarians gathered as reggae music played and psalms were sung in a church painted red, yellow and green -- the colours of both the Ethiopian and Rastafarian flags. The smell of marijuana hung in the air.

"We want to be identified as natural Ethiopians now -- not as Jamaican, nor American!" said Paul Phang, a Rastafari leader, without fully clarifying what he meant.

The Rastas' political wing, the Ethiopian World Federation, started in the 1930s but is still lobbying for their basic rights. "We're here to stay. We haven't been kicked out of Ethiopia after all these years, that means we are accepted," Kush said.

But they remain in legal limbo.

"Our needs are basic human rights needs," Kush added. "We need to be able to tell our children that they have a state. Children are being born here and being classed as stateless -- not able to get identification here and not able to get IDs from the countries where their parents come from. So we're in a limbo."

But with each Rastafarian church celebrating its own way, there are political divisions within the movement too.

"If every one of us was in accord, then these natural rights would have been granted to us already," said Phang, a priest from the Bobo Shanti Rastafari group.

"So because of this different ideology, different thinking, it's like we cannot approach the government in our oneness."


SHASHAMANE, Ethiopia — Rastafarians play music, sing and pray on November 2, 2015 in Shashamane as they celebrate the anniversary of late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s coronation which took place on November 2, 1930.



Rastafarian Church in Shashamane.

July 31, 2017

Ethiopia’s government has announced it will issue identity cards to members of the Rastafarian community, a religious group that has long been seen as stateless in the horn of Africa nation. The foreign ministry said that the ID cards will grant Rastafarians residency and most legal rights in the country, but will still not make them citizens, AFP reports.

Estimates of the number of Rastafarians in Ethiopia range from hundreds to 1,000, and they reside mostly in the capital Addis Ababa or in Shashamane