Like John the Baptist to Jesus Christ, at the turn of the 20th century, Marcus Garvey claimed he was a prophet foretelling the second coming of the Christian messiah. This second coming came in the form of the Ethiopian prince and alleged descendant of King Solomon of Israel- Ras Tafari, later known as King Halie Selassie I. In a few short years, Garvey gathered a following and codified a set of African Fundamentalist traditions that would become part of Rastafarianism.
- The Afro-Caribbean people enslaved in the Caribbean by Europeans are the modern incarnation of God’s chosen people of Israel enslaved in Babylon
- The Afro-Caribbean people need to rise up against their European oppressors and make an exodus to the promised land of Zion- the only African country unoccupied by European powers- Ethiopia
- Once there, they need to kick the Europeans off the continent and reclaim their homeland
Though borrowing elements from Christian tradition helped give credence to the new religion and make it more relatable to its practitioners, these beliefs were quite unpopular with the Europeans and Rastafarianism remained underground under threat of arrest and violence by the government and powerful whites.