In defence of the Jesus Army

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From Mr John Campbell

Sir: The article in the Magazine (29 April) on the Jesus Army was sensational and unbalanced.

You describe the Jesus Army as "one of Britain's fastest-growing cults", and refer to exploitation and brainwashing in a way that can only be described as sensationalist. The Jesus Army (also known as the Jesus Fellowship Church) is not a cult, but an evangelical Christian church with a charismatic emphasis. It is part of the contemporary Christian movement in this country.

In particular, the dramatic "exorcism" you report does not tally in any respect with any incident that our London members can recall. We dorespect a person's sexuality. Furthermore, we proclaim the Christian gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus and do not exhibit an obsession with "hell-fire and damnation".

The article also implied that the only options offered to the "homeless" reporter were to return to the streets or to become a member of the Jesus Army as part of our Christian community. This is just not so. The various possible outcomes for an ex-homeless person staying for a period with the Jesus Army include normal church membership of the Jesus Army (with no community ties), membership of another church, and membership of no church.

Many people have been helped to find themselves and to stand on their own two feet through the Jesus Army.

Yours sincerely,

JOHN CAMPBELL

Communications Officer

Jesus Fellowship/Jesus Army

Northampton

2 May

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