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Police ignore plea from ‘cult mum’

Herald Sun, Australia
July 12, 2005
Tanya Giles • Tuesday July 12, 2005

A young mother allegedly abducted by an Australian missionary in Kenya, yesterday denied she was being held against her will by the Bible-based cult Jesus Christians.

Jesus Christians

The ‘Jesus Christians’ movement also calls itself “Followers of the Lamb,” “Rappville Christians,” or simply “Christians.” However, theologically this high-demand group is a cult of Christianity. The manipulative group also displays sociological cultic characteristics.

Among other things, the group insists members reject their families, friends, and jobs. Based in Australia, but is active elsewhere as well (notably, England and India). The movement makes extra-Biblical demands, has a theology based on unsound Bible interpretations.

The group’s leader, David McKay, is believed to be a former member of the Children of God.

While the group militates – often in extreme ways – against established churches, denominations, and Christians who do not share the group’s theology, ”Jesus Christians” itself appears to have somewhat of a persecution complex.

Speaking for the first time from a secret hideout, Betty Njoroge said she repeatedly assured police she had not been kidnapped, but they had ignored her pleas.

Ms Njoroge said the police charges against imprisoned missionary Roland Gianstefani, of New South Wales, over her alleged abduction, were false.

She claimed the charges were designed to pressure her into handing over seven-year-old son Joshua to authorities in exchange for Mr Gianstefani’s freedom.

“This is a trumped-up charge to force me to come out in the open and give up my son,” Ms Njoroge said in an interview with the Herald Sun.

“There is a reason this is called hiding. It means I don’t want to be found. But seriously, the authorities have a sinister agenda in looking for me, especially since I have made it clear to them that I am safe and not abducted, and I want to be left alone.”

Mr Gianstefani, 42, was charged two weeks ago with abducting Ms Njoroge and detaining her son Joshua. He faces up to seven years’ jail if guilty.

Police also have a warrant out for the arrest of Mr Gianstefani’s wife Susan over the alleged kidnapping. In July 2000, Mr Gianstefani and his wife received suspended six-month jail sentences from a British court for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of missing teenager Bobby Kelly.

British police believed the 16-year-old had been kidnapped and brainwashed by the cult.

Ms Njoroge said she was unhappy with her life and desperately searching for sincerity, peace and truth when she first agreed to stay with the Jesus Christians for a two-week trial.

Ms Njoroge said she and her son just wanted to practice their faith and live in peace.

“That would be true freedom to me,” she said.

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