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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Raising cane: Twelve Tribes controversy

12 Tribes Bus  (Photo by Lyndi & Jason) 
Although The Twelve Tribes ("formerly known as the Vine Christian Community Church, the Northeast Kingdom Community Church, the Messianic Communities, and the Community Apostolic Order") has only about 3,000 members altogether, it is located within quite a few countries worldwide.  These include the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Germany, France, the Czech
Republic, Canada, Australia, and Argentina.

Recently, this group – which Wikipedia explains grew out of the 1970s Tennessee-based Jesus Movement - experienced a raid by German authorities.  Jamie Merrill of The Independent reports that "police took away 40 children from their parents and placed them in foster homes, amid allegations that they had undergone years of abuse."

Part of these allegations stem from the group's literal belief in the Bible's approval of "chastising children with a willow cane to 'drive out the devil.'"  Journalist Wolfram Kuhnigk had infiltrated their Bavarian farm and filmed "six adults in a cellar beating six children with a total of 83 strokes of the cane."

Wikipedia reports that there have also been run-ins with German and French authorities over health and
homeschooling issues.  In New York, there were issues concerning the alleged breaking of child-labor laws.

Although many Twelve Tribes beliefs resemble those of Christian fundamentalist denominations, Twelve Tribes members are convinced that "all denominations are fallen" - and that Christianity itself is "the whore of Babylon…"  Wikipedia also explains that they seek "a new Israel consisting of Twelve Tribes in twelve
geographic locations."


Copyright September 19, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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