Nation of Yahweh

The Nation of Yahweh is a predominantly African-American religious group that is the most controversial offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites line of thought. It was founded in 1979 in Miami by Hulon Mitchell, Jr., who went by the name Yahweh ben Yahweh. Its goal is to return African Americans, whom they see as the original Israelites, to Israel. The group departs from mainstream Christianity and Judaism by accepting Yahweh ben Yahweh as the Son of God. In this way, its beliefs are unique and distinct from that of other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups.[1][2] The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder and has also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center[3] and The Miami Herald.[4]

The SPLC has criticized the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh as racist, stating that the group believed blacks are "the true Jews" and that whites were "white devils." The SPLC also claims the group believed Yahweh ben Yahweh had a Messianic mission to vanquish whites and that it held views similar to the Christian Identity movement. The SPLC quotes Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance as saying groups like the Nation of Yahweh are "the black counterpart of us."[5]

The Anti-Defamation League has criticized the Nation of Yahweh and some other Black Hebrew sects, stating, "In 1987, ADL reported on Black sects holding these views [arguing that today's Jews are not the "chosen people" described in the Bible, ... instead that the label applies to people of African descent], such as the Yahwehs and the Original African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem. Today, this form of Black supremacy is promoted on the Web by the 12 Tribes of Israel site, which cites hundreds of Biblical passages to prove that Blacks are the children of Israel and whites the Satanic offspring of Esau."[6]

Despite the death of their leader Yahweh ben Yahweh in 2007, the Nation of Yahweh is still active. Its members also claim to have abandoned their past racism and the leader's daughter has apparently stated that all people are children of God.[citation needed] An attorney and member of the group, Wendelyn Rush, insists their current war with the U.S. government is a non-violent verbal battle. The group is currently spread throughout the US and is no longer concentrated in one location (formerly Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA). They claim that their present literature downplays and has nearly erased all past racism.[citation needed] [7]

The Nation of Yahweh is perhaps best known nationally for its purchase of infomercial time. The Nation airs a weekly half-hour program on stations across the United States, usually on weekends during little-watched early morning hours, that combines Biblical study along with discussion of the Nation itself.

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