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Phineas Priest
Symbol Type

Group Symbol

Symbol Description

Letter "P" with line drawn through it

Also Known As


Traditional Use/Origins


Hate Group/Extremist Organization

Phineas Priesthood

Extremist Meaning or Representation

See below


The Phineas Priesthood is not a membership organization. Certain extremists have claimed to be "Phineas Priests" after committing violent acts against people they consider to be breaking "Biblical Law," including interracial couples, abortion providers, and homosexuals. Most people who have declared themselves Phineas Priests are adherents of Christian Identity, a racist and anti-Semitic religion. Christian Identity teaches that white people are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel and are thus God's chosen people, that Jews are descendents of Satan, and that non-whites are soulless "mud people." The concept of the Phineas Priesthood comes from a 1990 book by white supremacist and Christian Identity follower Richard Kelly Hoskins, Vigilantes of Christendom: The Story of the Phineas Priesthood. In the book, Hoskins describes a continuous priesthood of "avengers" who, throughout the centuries, have committed violent acts in order to defend racial purity and "God's Law." According to Hoskins, these avengers have been inspired by, and thus take their name from, an Old Testament figure Phinehas who, in order to protect the purity of the Israelites and keep them from harm, killed a fellow Israelite that had taken up with a foreign woman. The extremists who have asserted that they are Phineas Priests have committed crimes ranging from murders to bombings to bank robberies.

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