A movement advocating for the unification and empowerment of the descendants of the biblical Israelites.
Denomination: Black Hebrew Israelites
Founder: Bishop Nathanyel Ben Israel
Location: United States
Size: 10,000 members
Israel United in Christ (IUIC) is a religious organization that is part of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. Founded in 2003 by Nathanyel Ben Israel, formerly known as Nathaniel Ray, IUIC believes that African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are the true descendants of the biblical Israelites. The group is known for its emphasis on biblical teachings, cultural identity, and community empowerment.
Founding and Ideology
Israel United in Christ was established with the goal of teaching its interpretation of the Bible and uniting people of color whom they believe are the true descendants of the Israelites. The group’s ideology centers on the belief that these communities have lost their true cultural and religious identity due to historical oppression and slavery.
Beliefs and Teachings
IUIC teaches that the aforementioned ethnic groups are the true descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This belief is central to their religious practice and worldview. The organization emphasizes adherence to the laws of the Torah and the teachings of the New Testament, interpreting them through the lens of their unique doctrine.
Key teachings include:
- Observance of biblical laws and commandments, including dietary restrictions and observing the Sabbath on Saturday.
- The belief that Jesus Christ was a black man, and the true Israelites are people of color.
- A focus on the end times and the belief that the true Israelites will be saved and restored to their rightful place.
Practices and Community Life
IUIC places a strong emphasis on community and family life, encouraging its members to live according to biblical principles. This includes modest dress codes, traditional family roles, and community support systems. The organization is also known for its street preaching and active use of social media to spread its teachings.
Expansion and Activities
Since its inception, IUIC has expanded across the United States and internationally. It has established branches in various cities, offering educational programs, community services, and religious teachings. The group organizes events, such as the Passover celebration, which are central to its community life.
Controversies and Criticisms
Israel United in Christ, like other Black Hebrew Israelite groups, has faced criticism and controversy. Some of their teachings and practices have been viewed as extremist or divisive by mainstream Christian organizations. The group has also been criticized for some of its rhetoric, which has been perceived as racially charged.