Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The “Israel United in Christ” group is a growing concern to churchgoers


On Thursday, April 9th, around 9:30 am, an incident occurred at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church when a group of members from the Israel United in Christ disrupted a school mass in the church. Their disrespectful and insulting behavior alarmed many in the church and within the community. The occurrence is rare in Belize, a country known for religious freedom and peaceful coexistence among many denominations.
The individuals represent the black Hebrew Israelite group “Israel United in Christ.” According to the USA-based civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center, the group “believes that white people are “the devil,” Jews are “fake Jews,” and members of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) are “sinners.” Research also indicates that the organization believes that the lost twelve tribes of Israel, or “Levi,” consist of what they call “Negros, Hispanics, and Native Americans.” They claim that Jesus is “Black.” Their motto is “Negros, Hispanics, and Native Americans, you are the children of Israel, we made God angry, and he put us into slavery; it’s time to come back to God.” The group aims to divide people based on skin color and ethnicity, particularly those with black skin, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The Israel United in Christ headquarters are located in Brooklyn, New York, USA, and a group was established in Belize City, Belize, in 2003. They are now attempting to spread their beliefs to Ambergris Caye by establishing a foothold here.
The San Pedro Sun contacted Father Eduardo Montemayor of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, who stated that the Catholic Church views the group as spreading a malicious message. “Jesus does not focus on skin color but on uniting all people through him,” said Father Montemayor.
Several concerned residents on the island raised issues not about the group’s beliefs but their radical behavior, causing disturbances in public areas. Since these incidents, the group has been seen around the church. The matter has been reported to the San Pedro Police Department for harassment. As the church is close to Central Park, the police advise the public to stay vigilant and report any disturbances, as the group is reportedly still in the area.

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