What is Babylon to Rastas?

Bob Marley
Bob Marley

There is a misconception that when Rastas chant down Babylon or burn Babylon with a spiritual fire, their main focus is the White establishment. That is misinformation. In fact, the motto of the Nyabinghi (a sect of Rasta) warriors is, “Death to all Black and White downpressors (oppressors).”

This means that regardless of what or who you are, if you are a part of any oppressive regime then it is down with you. In Jamaica, the birthplace of Rasta, even the police are referred as Babylon because of their brutal practices. Now don’t go Jamaica and call a police “Babylon”, you would be sorry you did. It’s just an example to show that according to Rastas, every oppressor is “Babylon” or part of the Babylonian system.

In fact, the system that controls Jamaican music right now that causes Vybz Kartel, a convicted murderer, to be more loved than Bob Marley, is a Babylon system.

It reminds us of our days in Jericho
When we trodding down Jericho walls


These are the days when we trod through Babylon
We’ll keep on trodding until Babylon falls – Bob Marley

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