Catholic Christianity and Rastafarianism.

Essay by ellyjeanHigh School, 12th grade July 2003

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Roman Catholicism and Rastafarianism - A Comparative Essay

The religion of Catholic Christianity was established just after the death of Jesus, near the beginning of the Common Era. Jesus, the Son of God and Messiah, was born a Jew. Early Christianity was therefore a strand of Judaism and it wasn't until later that Judaism and Christianity were separated. One of the main components of the Christian religion is the rituals that members of the church participate in such as Mass, the Sacraments and the Sign of the Cross. The structure of the church is a hierarchy, the leader of the Catholic Christianity being the Pope, supported by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and brothers and nuns. Christianity has many stories, such as those in the Bible, those of the Saints and the story of the history of the church.

Rastafarianism is a relatively new religious and political movement, established from the "Back to Africa" movement led by a Jamaican nationalist, Marcus Garvey, in the 1920's and 1930's.

Garvey prophesised that a black king would be crowned in Africa and that he would be the real Messiah foretold by the Catholic Christian's Bible. Rastas believe that this was fulfilled when Ras (Prince) Tafari was crowned Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. It is interesting to compare Rastafarianism with Catholic Christianity as Haile Selassie himself was a Christian and was puzzled by Jamaican followers who attempted to worship him. All Rastafarians look forward to the spiritual return to Africa, where they will be free of oppression brought about by the white man. There is no formal structure in the Rastafari faith, as it is believe that everyone is equal.

The major difference in Rasta and Christian beliefs is that Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah and Rastafarians believe that white people tricked the...