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However, looking at all definition of the concept it is clear that Rastafarianism possesses most of the qualities to be classified as a religion.In order to understand what Rastafarianism is, whether it is a religion or not, it is important to first understand its nature and origin.The social, political and economic lives of Rastafarians in South Africa (like anywhere where the movement exists) are mainly linked to their religious beliefs.This article also looks at the different facets of the movement and argues that despite its many facets, it is its religious nature that sustains its existence.As documented, the Rastafarian Movement originated in the Caribbean island of Jamaica in the 1930's.
Their objection is based on the belief that the movement is more of a way of life than a religion.
The most popular definition is that which sees religion as a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things set apart and forbidden, beliefs and practices which unite into a single moral community called a church and all those who adhere to them (Swatos 2003: 40).
Another definition sees religion as a conceptual system that provides an interpretation of the world and the place of human beings in it, based on account of how life should be lived given that interpretation, and expresses this interpretation and lifestyle in a set of rituals, institutions and practices.
This definition of religion is similar to the one proposed by Swatos above.
Their rejection in classifying their movement as a religion is in the first place based on their definition of the concept but not in its (Rastafarianism) nature.