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Priest Jevon Thompson at the Bobo Ashanti camp yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

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Rastafarians seek religious recognition for drug use

RASTAFARIAN communities in The Bahamas are calling for reparatory justice in the form of state recognition and inclusion as national discourse over marijuana law reform picks up steam.

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John 3 years, 3 months ago

" Rastas often claim the flag of Ethiopia as was used during Haile Selassie's reign. It combines the conquering lion of Judah, symbol of the Ethiopian monarchy, with green, gold, and red. Rastafari, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Scholars of religion and related fields have classified it as both a new religious movement and a social movement. There is no centralized authority in control of the movement and much heterogeneity exists among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas.

Rastafari refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. The former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is given central importance. Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Christ. Others regard him as a human prophet who fully recognised the inner divinity within every individual. Rastafari is Afrocentric and focuses its attention on the African diaspora, which it believes is oppressed within Western society, or "Babylon"."

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