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Two Children Fleeing Lev Tahor Cult Kidnapped On Shabbat In Catskills

Two children were reportedly kidnapped in Upstate New York on Saturday morning after attempting to escape from the Ultra-Orthodox cult Lev Tahor, The Yeshiva World reported.

Two children of the Teller family, which fled from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect in Guatemala, were spending the weekly holiday with a family in the Catskills, sources told YWN.

On Shabbat morning, a 12 year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were missing. Two children were seen going into a vehicle at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to YWN. Police are investigating.

The children’s mother is Sara Feige Teller, sister of current Lev Tahor leader Nachman Helbrans, and wife of Rabbi Aron Aryeh Teller, the dean of the sect’s yeshiva.

Sara Feige Teller escaped the cult several months ago and has been trying to rescue her six children. This has reportedly led to reprisals from Lev Tahor members, including being attacked by people armed with guns, knives and rocks.

Lev Tahor, whose members have moved from Canada to Guatemala to Mexico over the years to escape from government child service agencies, forces its female followers to wear black robes from head to toe, leaving only their faces uncovered. Leaders of the cult have been accused of abuse and forcing child marriages.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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