Rastafarianism grows in Jamaica after long disdain
BULL BAY, Jamaica (AP) - The robed Rastafarian priest looked out over the turquoise sea off Jamaica's south-east coast and fervently described his belief that deliverance is at hand.
Around him at the sprawling Bobo Ashanti commune on an isolated hilltop, a few women and about 200 dreadlocked men with flowing robes and tightly wrapped turbans prayed, fasted, and fashioned handmade brooms - smoking marijuana only as a ceremonial ritual.
"Rasta church is rising," declared Priest Morant, who wore a vestment stitched with the words "The Black Christ". "There's nothing that can turn it back."
The Rastafarian faith is indeed rising in Jamaica, where new census figures show a roughly 20 per cent increase in the number of adherents over a decade, to more than 29,000.