Ex-Chicago sect OKd to live in Israel

Associated Press, July 29, 2003
http://www.suntimes.com/
BY CURTIS LAWRENCE

The African Hebrew Israelite Community–a group of African Americans founded by a Chicago cabdriver who believe they are descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel–was given permanent resident status by the Israeli government Monday.

The group, commonly known as “Black Hebrews,” immigrated to Liberia in 1967 and then relocated to Israel about two years later.

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

“To be recognized at the very highest level speaks volumes . . . for the consistency of the community to maintain the highest level of integrity and credibility inside the country as well as outside,” said Prince Asiel Ben-Israel, the community’s international ambassador, who resides in Chicago and Israel.

Ben-Israel said the government’s announcement means that the 2,500 African Americans who now live in Dimona and two other towns in southern Israel will be able to continue breaking ground for a new community to include 300 new homes, a sports facility, child development center and school.

As permanent residents, the Hebrew Israelites also will be able to serve in the Israeli army, according to a statement from Interior Minister Avraham Poraz. The decision was made after the recommendation of a committee established in the late 1990s. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Tova Ellinson said that under normal ministry practice, permanent resident status would lead to full citizenship after an unspecified period of time.

Prince Asiel Ben-Israel said he spoke with the group’s founder, Ben Ammi Ben-Israel, Monday morning. “He was thanking almighty God for continuing to show his favor with us,” Prince Asiel Ben-Israel said.

The community–which has come under criticism for its lifestyle–believes in polygamy and encourages a vegan diet. According to the group’s Internet site, they hope to create a lifestyle where solutions are found to “the seemingly irreversible problems that plague mankind–rampant disease, drug abuse, sexual abuse, corruption, ecological destruction and disintegration of family unity.”

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, , ,

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday July 30, 2003.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.