Pastor held on child kidnap charges

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The Independent Online

A controversial evangelist who claims he can help infertile couples have "miracle babies" through the power of prayer was arrested yesterday.

Pastor Gilbert Deya, 54, faces extradition to Kenya to be tried on six allegations of child kidnap.

He was arrested in London by members of the extradition and international assistance unit after a request from the Kenyan authorities. He was due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday afternoon.

Mr Deya, who claims to have been consecrated as an archbishop in the US in 1992, is the head of the Gilbert Deya Ministries religious movement, which has churches in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester, with an estimated combined congregation of 34,000.

He has been accused of trafficking Kenyan children from Nairobi slums and the Charity Commission has frozen his ministry's bank accounts.

In 2004, a High Court judge ruled one so-called "miracle baby" was a victim of child traffickers, when making public the findings of a private court hearing to warn of the "cruel deception" and to try and trace the boys' real parents.

Twenty more babies connected to Deya have been taken into care in Kenya after DNA tests showed they had no genetic connection to their mothers.