A baby who a self-styled archbishop claims was born by a miracle was smuggled into Britain by child traffickers, a judge has ruled.
The boy, who is believed to be about one year old, is one of many children who Gilbert Deya, 52, claims to have been born to infertile mothers through the power of prayer.
The alleged parents of the boy, known as C, are part of Deya’s 36,000-strong evangelical movement, the Gilbert Deya Ministries, which is the fastest growing religious body in Britain.
Deya is wanted by police in Kenya over allegations that he has trafficked children from the slums of Nairobi.
Tests revealed that C’s DNA did not match his alleged father or mother, known as Mr and Mrs E, allowing social services to take him into care.
Presiding over a High Court hearing in London to determine C’s future, Mr Justice Ryder ruled that the boy was the victim of a “cruel deception”.
The hearing was held in private, but the judge said he had made his findings public in the hope that the C’s parents might be found.
He said the motive behind the trafficking was “financial greed”.
Although Deya’s supporters claim Mr and Mrs E had not paid money for the boy, the judge said his ministry had benefited by collecting cash from a congregation that believed in the miracle births.
The judge withheld judgment on C’s future, but said he should remain in local authority care while police and other agencies try to trace his family.
Deya claimed at the hearing, which was attended by Mr and Mrs E, that he was consecrated as an archbishop in 1992.
Kenyan police have taken 20 of his “miracle babies” into care and his British-born wife Mary appeared in a Nairobi court in August accused of stealing two babies from a hospital.
The Charity Commission has frozen the funds of Deya’s ministry, which has churches in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
Deya has denied being part of a child trafficking ring, saying the babies were born “through the power of prayer and the Lord Jesus”.