Now as these perverse changes were happening in Rome leading up to the creation of the Vatican and the papacy, there was another strand of Christianity in a distant land. Ethiopia.
It is thought that the founding of this church was based on the preaching of Matthew or the eunuch of the Acts of the Apostles. It was established in the 4th century by St Frumentius and his brother Aedesius. If these do not sound like Ethiopian names there's probably a good reason for that. He was a Christian missionary from Phoenicia. He brought Christianity to the Kingdom of Aksum.
Because of this link there is a line of information and influence that can still come from Rome. On the other hand, Ehtiopia was still soverign territory that could make its own decisions on how to be Christians. On top of this, missionaries had gone all over the world but... here's the catch... this missionary effort wasn't always... "nice". That is to say, somehow people were getting the idea that they need to convert or else.
Around 700 AD Ethiopia had a Muslim problem. Islam influenced the church however it did not fall to Islam like other countries around it. Ethiopia tried to get help from Portugal against Islam but it came with strings attached. They wanted to introduce Catholic missionaries and Jesuit priests into Ethiopia. Ethiopia resisted and so the full influence of the Vatican was unable to penetrate.
However, Christianity was still a bully on the world stage, leading to the Crusades in the 10th century and then the Inquistions. This reignited the visage of Roman oppression and the Vatican became something to be feared. Other religions, especially African, had to find ways to hide their belief systems inside some version of catholicism. Catholic Church doctrine supports intercessory prayer to saints. This created the opportunity for other religions to dress up their deities as "saints". Europeans were arrogant so whether they noticed this or not, it still happened.
All of this forms the socio-political backdrop. England was picking up the vacuum left by Rome but the religious power of Rome was still alive in the Vatican. Catholicism started in England in the 6th century and later fell out of favor in 1559 when it became illegal. The reality is that Rome's version of Christianity was a socio-political pyramid of power. This power itself tried to dominate the globe in ways that the Roman Empire had failed to do. So they influenced states hoping to install themselves as the state religion while at the same time influencing those states to spread Christianity and fight any of its adversaries. So the spirit of Rome was alive and well.
When viewed in a spiritual context, the Vatican fits into the role of the Whore of Revelation which rides on the back of a government and causes other nations to bow to her authority. But she's a whore because she "fornicates" religiously with other doctrines. It's essentially a refute against paganism which was merged into Christianity from the early 2nd and 3rd centuries or before.
And then came slavery and the introduction of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I.
With the Vatican and Rome fitting into prophetic archetypes it allowed Selassie to fit into an archetype as well. The Messiah. Unlike the NT's messiah who was crucified as an enemy of the Roman state leading to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the rebellions that were inevitably put down, Selassie was victorious in repelling the Europeans who were trying to takeover Africa. While, he did this through political strategy and not just military force, what this represents to Rastafarians is a symbol of the unconquered spirit of black liberation.
Although, I'm saying "black liberation", I'm putting emphasis on this only in the sense that this was the immediate need of Africans displaced by the transatlantic slave trade, as a symbol of hope and possible return to our continental home.
Even if one makes the argument that black people are "thriving in America" in comparison to many countries in Africa, the problem with this thinking is that black people thrive in spite of racism and prejudice. However, these obstacles are not universally overcome and Europeans especially in America have subtle means and methods to protect their advantages. We simply cannot know how far African could have progressed on our own, in Africa, without the interference and colonization of Europeans. If Europeans were simply settlers it would be different. However, they sought power and began taking the very resources Africa is rich in, in order to enrich themselves while claiming Africans were genetically inferior. But we've seen places like Dubai flourish simply because of a natural resource they were able to sell to the world. The idea that Black people were better off as slaves allowed ignorance in Europeans to reach such heights that it allowed them to justify absolute evil.
When a human (regardless of hue) goes through hell, they must hold on to something. They must hold on to some hope that things will change for the better. Otherwise, that human will lose his very sanity.
Much like the Israelites under Roman occupation, black liberation... the movement simply for the idea that black people deserved to be free and treated as equals... the knowledge that we had come from Africa and been part of proud ancestry, languages, cultures, and traditions, even though this very identity was lost to us in the west... black liberation was in need of an icon; a messiah-like figure that could unite that culture and cultivate an undying spirit of hope and progress and restoration. And much like Yeshua, whether he knew it or liked it or not, Haile Selassie I became that symbol for a lot of people. And he didn't go against it because he knew it was needed. Was he some promised messiah according to prophecy?
No, but did that stop Yeshua and the entire NT from happening? No. The NT happened because they literally read prophecies and followed them like a playbook, trying to bring them... force them... to come true. Literally, they were not true. That is why Rome literally defeated them.
Symbolism is more important in spirituality than any sort of literal interpretation. You can see this in the Book of Daniel where nations are symbolized in the mega statue of Nebuchadnezzer. What that shows is that this whole global domination agenda was a cycle going back through time. And... just like STAR WARS... the cycle that produces an empire will also create the rebellion/resistance. The formation of European power into white supremacy also created the resistance and the cause of black liberation. Just like how the rebels in Star Wars are from all species, the resistance against white supremacy is fought by members of all races. This is important to say because it is somewhat true that the climate created by white supremacy creates a lot of distrust between whites and blacks specifically that only really overcome by personal relationships. And I want to underscore this point because I don't want any Europeans to feel alienated by the idea of "black" liberation. We're only talking about a construct that is opposite of "white" supremacy. And it is called that because the same Euopean forces that created "race" as a construct and used it to gain power, are the same forces that want to keep that power.
Now... just because there is a socio-political element at play with white supremacy vs black liberation... that doesn't mean there isn't a deeper understanding and spiritual path layered on top just as there was a deeper understanding within Christianity that the Europeans grabbed onto which had nothing to do with the rebellion against Rome. They couldn't have cared less that Jesus wasn't a literal king of Israel. The spiritual ideas around love, peace, and harmony resonated. And these are the same ideas resonating in Rastafari. And when Bob Marley, much like a musical missionary, sent the positive vibrations of Rastafari culture into the world, people started to listen and pick up on that signal, connecting the struggle for human rights with love peace and harmony. I could not do justice to the experience of Rasta livity. Others are right to say that it is something each person must experience. So that's why I'm just saying love peace and harmony. The are just concepts and ideas, but putting them into motion is what creates change. And a change in people equals a change in society. So anything that looks like Babylon, talks like Babylon, acts like Babylon, symbolically is Babylon and therefore can be defeated by resonating with this inward change in the heart of man.