Message to Rastafarian Elders and Followers
Rastafari developed in Jamaica during the 1930s, having been influenced by both Ethiopianism and the Back to Africa movement promoted by black nationalist figures like Marcus Garvey. A number of Christian clergyman, most notably Leonard Howell, believed that the crowning of Haile Selassie as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930 marked the fulfilment of a Biblical prophecy. This idea generated the Rastafari movement, which spread throughout Jamaica in that decade. By the 1950s the religion has come into conflict with many other aspects of the island's society and had spread to other nations. In the 1960s it expanded and began to gain an increasing influence through music.
The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the title (Ras) and first name (Tafari Makonnen) of Haile Selassie I before his coronation. In Amharic, Ras, literally "head", is an Ethiopian title equivalent to prince or chief, while the personal given name Täfäri (teferi) means one who is revered. Yah (יה in Hebrew) is a Biblical name of God, from a shortened form of Jahweh or Yahuah found in Psalms 68:4 in the King James Version of the Bible and many other places in the Bible. 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.
Rastafari is a religious movement. It developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. There are many sects of Rastafari that have developed over the years. Its adherents worship him in much the same way as Jesus in his Second Advent, or as God the Son. Members of the Rastafari way of life are known as Rastafari, Rastas, or simply Ras. Rastafari are also known by their official church titles, such as Elder or High Priest.