Rastafari, also known as Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s.
The movement developed after several Christian clergymen, most notably Leonard Howell, proclaimed that Haile Selassie's crowning as emperor in 1930 fulfilled a Biblical prophecy.
By the 1950s, Rastafari's counter-cultural stance had brought the movement into conflict with wider Jamaican society, including violent clashes with law enforcement.
Practitioners of Rastafari identify themselves with the ancient Israelites—God's chosen people in the Old Testament—and believe that black Africans or Rastas are either the descendants or reincarnations of this ancient people.
The term "Babylon" is adopted because of its Biblical associations.
Rastafari is Afrocentric and focuses its attention on the African diaspora, which it believes is oppressed within Western society, or "Babylon".