Nation of Yahweh

A radical Black Hebrew Israelite group known for its controversial teachings and criminal activities.

Religion: Black Hebrew Israelites
Founder: Hulon Mitchell Jr. (known as Yahweh ben Yahweh)
Founded: 1979
Location: United States (originally Miami, Florida)
Size: 1,000 members (estimate)
Other Names: Temple of Love, Temple of Love and Affection, Nation of Yahweh Temple, Nation of Yahweh Temple of Love, Nation of Yahweh Temple of Love and Affection

The Nation of Yahweh is a religious movement that emerged in the United States in the late 20th century, founded by Hulon Mitchell Jr., who took on the name Yahweh ben Yahweh. This group is a part of the larger Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which believes that certain groups of African Americans are descendants of the biblical Israelites. Yahweh ben Yahweh’s teachings were a blend of Black nationalism and Old Testament narratives, claiming that Black people are the true chosen people of God.

Yahweh ben Yahweh, born in Oklahoma in 1935, was the son of a Pentecostal preacher. After serving in the military and attending law school, he joined the Nation of Islam in the mid-1960s but left after facing accusations of embezzlement and pedophilia. He then moved to Miami in 1978, at a time when the city was experiencing significant racial tension. There, he declared himself the Messiah of the Black Hebrew Israelites and established the Nation of Yahweh.

The Nation of Yahweh gained notoriety for its aggressive tactics, including the acquisition of properties and businesses in economically disadvantaged Black neighborhoods, which they revitalized. However, the group also became infamous for its criminal activities, particularly under the leadership of Yahweh ben Yahweh. These activities included a series of murders in the 1980s, where members, referred to as “Death Angels,” were allegedly instructed to kill “white devils” as an act of retribution for perceived injustices against Black people. Victims of these crimes often had their ears severed, a gruesome trophy for the killers.

In 1986, the arrest of a Nation of Yahweh member, Robert Rozier, led to the unravelling of the group’s criminal activities. Rozier, a former football player, confessed to participating in several murders at the behest of Yahweh ben Yahweh. This revelation sparked a broader investigation, culminating in the 1990 indictment of Yahweh ben Yahweh and several followers on charges of racketeering and involvement in 14 murders.

Despite the controversies and criminal convictions, the Nation of Yahweh has persisted, though its current activities and membership size are less clear. Following Yahweh ben Yahweh’s death in 2007, the movement showed signs of continuing, with its ideology still based on the belief in the divine chosen status of Black people and a coming end to white domination.

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