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However, a growing movement within Rastafari is calling Rastas away from their New Age beliefs and idolization of Haile Selassie I—and to a Trinitarian, orthodox Christian faith.As Caribbean churches have recently become more welcoming of Rastafarians, reggae music, and Afrocentrism, a greater rapprochement between Rastas and Christians has developed.The Rastafari way of life encompasses the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of the degenerate society of materialism, oppression, and sensual pleasures, called Babylon.Rastas assert that Zion (i.e., Ethiopia) is a land that Jah promised to them.Most adherents see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, an incarnation of God the Father, the Second Advent of Christ "the Anointed One", i.e.the Second Coming of Jesus Christ the King to Earth.To achieve this, they reject modern western society, calling it "Babylon", which they see as entirely corrupt due to materialism and greed.
But that first hostel in Barcelona, where the manager got me totally stoned as part of the check-in process, then took me out to a huge dancehall, where about 2,000 Catalans were throwing shapes to a fantastic reggae band, remains the most memorable. I rose — I’d slept face-down in my clothes — and bimbled into the communal living area.
Several subgroups and varying beliefs vie for the soul of Rastafari.
These differences in theology, lifestyle, and behaviors all fit within the broad umbrella of Rastafari because, at its heart, it is an Afro-Caribbean identity movement—not primarily a religion with clearly defined, universally accepted dogma and doctrines.
Lit by sunshine and seated contemplatively at the dining table was a man of about my age with blond and grey dreadlocks hanging down to his backside.
I sat down opposite this preternaturally relaxed and accepting individual and introduced myself.