The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is a spiritual movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as Jesus incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari. The movement is sometimes referred to as "Rastafarianism".
The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the pre-regnal title of Haile Selassie I, composed of Amharic Ras (literally "Head", an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke), and Haile Selassie's pre-regnal given name, Tafari. Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia, is another incarnation of the Christian God, called Jah. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, who is the second coming of Jesus Christ onto the earth, but to others he is simply God's chosen king on earth.
Many elements of Rastafari reflect its origins in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black African descendants of slaves. The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of western society, called Babylon (from the metaphorical Babylon of the Christian New Testament). It proclaims Africa (also "Zion") as the original birthplace of mankind, and from the beginning of the movement the call to repatriation to Africa for the descendants of those slaves forced into exile in the West by the Atlantic slave trade has been a central theme.