Who are the twelve tribes? Colorado fires reportedly started in marginal ‘cult’ land

Investigators were looking for the cause of the wildfires that burned last week on 6,200 acres northwest of Denver when they came across a specific site housing members of a “fundamentalist” fringe group called The Twelve Tribes.

Initial reports claimed that broken power lines started the blaze before it spread to the area due to high-pressure winds and dry conditions. Over the weekend, however, officials in Colorado said they found telecommunications lines, not power lines. Meanwhile, video footage of a burning shed made them wonder if the fire had started on land belonging to the Twelve Tribes.


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Who are the twelve tribes?

The group describes itself on its website as “an emerging spiritual nation. “We are a confederation of twelve autonomous tribes, made up of autonomous communities,” the website states. firm. We are disciples of the Son of God, whom we call by his Hebrew name Yahshua. We follow the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and live like the first disciples of Acts 2 and 4. With all our hearts we want to do our Father’s will to love one another and to be a light for the nations, so that they see our life of love and know how much their Creator loves them.

According to The Independent, the organization was founded in the early 1970s in Tennessee during the Christian movements of the time. It has been called a variety of names including the Christian Vine Community Church, Messianic Communities, the Yellow Deli People, and the Community Apostolic Order. The Twelve Tribes has spread to communities across the United States, South America, Europe and Asia since its inception. In Boulder, Colorado, a few dozen members are said to be running a business called Yellow Deli, modeled after a Tennessee restaurant started by the organization’s founder more than four decades ago.

Common Sense Cafe and Yellow Deli in Island Pond, Vermont; owned and operated by Twelve Tribes (Wikimedia Commons)

The communities focus primarily on agriculture, with the website explaining how members “live together as an extended family, sharing all things in common, just as the disciples of Yahshua did in the first century … For the most part, our farms are small. on a large scale. ”He continues,“ We ​​mainly grow food for ourselves, but sometimes sell our produce on our own farm stalls or at farmers’ markets. All the income from our various activities goes into a common stock exchange, from which all our needs are met.We have no independent income or debts to bear by ourselves, except for the debt of love we owe our Savior, which we repay by loving and caring for one another. The site adds: “our farms are sanctuaries … a haven of peace … a peaceful refuge … an anchor for the soul in the midst of a society which is drifting dangerously off its course.

According to Independent, the group has already sparked outrage over its teachings on race, homosexuality and its alleged treatment of children. A 2018 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report describes the organization as “a Christian fundamentalist sect … little known in much of the country”. Meanwhile, the Twelve Tribes have come under fire in Germany for their practices and home schooling, which are said to be illegal in the country.

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