There has been much speculation over the 'Nation of Islam' leader Louis Farrakhan and his supposed conversion to Christianity. A video appeared online in which Farrakhan said: "I'm not guessing that my Jesus is alive. I know that my redeemer liveth and because he lives I know that I, too, will pass through the portal of death yet death will not afflict me."
But what is the Nation of Islam, and what do they do? Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition highlights 5 key things.
1. The Nation of Islam (NOI) is an African-American movement and organization that combines elements of traditional Islam with black nationalist ideas and race-based theology.
"Although the group is rather small (estimated membership is between 20,000 and 50,000 people), Farrakhan has used the organization to leverage his influence within the African-American community. In 1995 he organized and was the keynote speaker for the Million Man March, a gathering in Washington, D.C., that attracted 400,000 people."
2. The NOI was founded in Detroit on July 4, 1930, by Wallace D. Fard (a.k.a. Wallace Fard Muhammad).
Fard worked as a door-to-door salesman before gaining a following in the black community as a religious leader. In 1931, Fard met a migrant worker named Elijah Poole (aka Elijah Muhammad) and for the next three and a half years he reportedly “taught and trained the Honorable Elijah Muhammad night and day into the profound Secret Wisdom of the Reality of God.”
3. Under Elijah Muhammad’s leadership, the NOI grew to be an influential, controlling, and intimidating organization.
Malcolm X had once been a protégé of the religious leader but was suspended from the NOI because Elijah Muhammad believed he was becoming too influential. A year later, Malcolm X was shot to death by NOI members while speaking at a rally in New York City.
4. In 2010, Farrakhan publicly announced his embrace of cult leader L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings known as “Dianetics.”
Although claiming he wasn’t a Scientologist, Farrakhan actively encouraged Nation of Islam members to undergo auditing from the Church of Scientology. “I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” he told his Chicago congregation.
5. The NOI asserts that white people were created through scientific experimentation by a scientist named Yakub.
"As Farrakhan has explained, “the Bible calls him ‘Jacob,’ who wrestled with The Angel, and prevailed, and his name was changed from “Jacob” to Israel). He was a great Black Scientist.” Yakub supposedly began a program of selective breeding that was carried out by his followers after his death and resulted in the creation of the “white race.” This race became famous for corrupting and enslaving other races. As Farrakhan says, “the white race is a race of devils.”"
Read the full article here.