Black Jews

What are Black Jews?

Several different groups in the past century have been known as Black Jews. Included among these are the Commandment Keepers, founded in Harlem in 1919 by a Nigerian-born man known as “Rabbi Matthew”; the Church of God and Saints of Christ, founded in 1896 in Lawrence, Kansas, by William Crowdy; and the Church of God founded in Philadelphia by Prophet F. S. Cherry. In terms of doctrine, these groups share little more than a dislike of Christianity and affection for the Old Testament. Some Black Jews claim descent from the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia, who now reside in Israel. However, few Black Jews are recognized as such by orthodox rabbis. The Church of God and Saints of Christ is the largest of these groups. Many of this religion regard Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, who died in 1977, as God.


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