Gilbert Juma Deya

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Would you believe? - Gilbert Juma Deya

Africa is a diverse continent of many nations and even more ethnic tribal groups and clans. Some have described Africa as the ’most evangelised continent’. Once the continent was the place where missionaries from the West were sent — now Africa is sending missionaries to the West. There are good things coming out of Africa — but NOT everything coming out of Africa is good — some, in the West, are accepting almost any claim or story coming from Africa as true or valid — perhaps from a misplaced Western guilt over past mistreatment of African peoples? We need to evaluate what comes out of Africa (as well as out of other continents and countries).

Would YOU Believe It?

Kenyans, I proclaim damnation over you. You are cursed under your confused leadership. The wrath of God shall be upon you. You shall lack food, and your children shall suffer and die just as God punished the generation of Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel.’

This is the curse on Kenya from a supposed spiritual giant and ’servant of the Most High God in the presence of the citizens of the United Kingdom’, former stone mason, now self-proclaimed ’Archbishop’ Gilbert Juma Deya. He also cursed the Kenyan President Kibaki and Attorney-General Amos Wako, claiming their: ’children and grandchildren will die in the streets, the way you have left these holy children of Almighty God to suffer and be humiliated throughout the streets of Kenya’.

Why this cursing of Kenya and its authorities? Gilbert Juma Deya was a Kenyan who had been enamoured by one of America’s many ’Health and Wealth Gospel’ promoters, Morris Cerullo: ’I started to support Morris Cerullo in the early 1970’s. I liked the man. He was to Kenyans the most successful Christian performing many miracles.’ Deya decided to become a miracle preacher, like Cerullo. With an aggressive and arrogant temperament Deya learnt a great deal from Cerullo and others like him. He also knew the superstitious naivete of many Kenyans.

With some wheeling and dealing he managed to start some churches in Kenya and then moved to England where, in 1997, he started his Gilbert Deya Ministries. Deya has acknowledged his aggressive and questionable tactics in media interviews, which also became evident when he ’bought’ his way into a Kenyan promotional event attended by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. He manoeuvred himself into a photo opportunity with the British Royal couple and exploited it as if they endorsed him and his ’Ministry’. Over the years Deya built up a large ’empire’ of congregations around Britain, media and business interests and assets.

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Deya bettered Cerullo’s miracle claims. He rose to fame with his claim that he was able, through prayer to Jesus, to deliver ’miracle babies’ to infertile and menopausal women - as long as they were African and willing to go to Kenya to ’deliver’ or ’birth’ their babies. His ’miracle babies’ claims led to duping desperate and gullible women and bringing ’fame’ as a miracle worker’ that helped him grow his network of congregations in Britain.

He has advertised: ’God has blessed us with miracle babies that the world has never seen anything like before. Your donation is very useful to your miracle. Please send your donation and expect your miracle. Ten pounds, a hundred pounds, a thousand pounds - make cheques payable to Gilbert Deya Ministry.’

Some of the women who desperately wanted children, desperately wanted to believe Deya’s claims for miracle babies. They went to Kenya, where Deya’s wife, Mary, arranged for their ’delivery’ with a local doctor to help ’deliver’ the ’miracle baby’, and arranged for the ’birth certificate’ enabling the mothers to return to Britain with their babies. Women who ’delivered’ babies included women who were infertile, who had reached menopause, and at least one who had previously had her fallopian tubes removed. It appears that some may have had phantom or pseudo pregnancies, brought on by the intensity of their beliefs and the powerful suggestions made by Gilbert and Mary Deya. Some of the women believed that, with the help of Gilbert and Mary Deya, God enabled them to have multiple successions of births in one year. Kenyan media reported the story of a ’52-year-old woman giving birth after every 2 months, 14 years after her menopause’ - at least that was what she claimed and, perhaps, believed. Even though blood and urine tests, as well as ultrasounds, showed the women were NOT pregnant, they earnestly believed they were, somehow, pregnant by the power of God, especially when new born babies were placed in their arms in the delivery rooms in Kenya. Gilbert and Mary Deya claimed they themselves had numerous miraculous multiple successive births - 21 children miraculously conceived at four-month intervals.

While desperate and gullible women were willing to pay for Deya’s ’miracle babies’ claim to fame, government authorities in Kenya and Britain were NOT! Deya’s fame turned into infamy in 2004 after the Kenyan and British authorities began investigating the Deyas. In November Kenyan police arrested his wife, Mary, for stealing a baby from the Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Nairobi. Mary Deya was arrested along with at least six others, including two midwives. After serving a two-year prison sentence she was charged again, this time for stealing a baby from the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, after claiming she had just given birth to the child.

Kenyan Police also issues an arrest warrant for Gilbert Deya, and commenced extradition procedures in 2004.

Police and media investigations in Kenya uncovered a horror story of baby stealing, with some poor mothers being told their babies died at birth, when their babies were actually handed to Deya followers ’pregnant by faith’ who were told they had delivered a ’miracle baby’. Bribery and the collusion of hospital staff was all part of the baby-snatching, child-trafficking scam perpetrated by Gilbert Deya and his wife.

Raids on the Deya home in Kenya found some 21 children whom they initially claimed were theirs. Apparently the Deyas were unaware of modern medical advances, especially the evidence of DNA. While Deya specifically claimed that five children, ranging in age from one to four years and named in court as Miriam, Naomi, Elijah, Ruth and Joshua, were his own, DNA evidence proved they were NOT, and the children were taken into care by Kenyan welfare authorities. Kenyan police claim the five (and other) children were stolen from their mothers between 1999 and 2004. Though more than 20 children in Kenya have been placed in care, locating the actual birth mothers is proving difficult.

When his wife was arrested and an international arrest warrant was issued in late 2004, Deya, the supposed man of God and miracle powers, did not go to Kenya to support his wife and defend the charges against him. Instead, he fled from his main church centre in England to go into hiding in Scotland. He denied the allegations of child trafficking, claiming: ’I have been judged by the media as a child trafficker, which is a slave trade, but miracles have happened. God has used me and, I tell you, God cannot use a criminal. They are miracles.’

The British authorities had also been to investigating Deya; the Charities Commission froze some of his church funds; and a High Court Judge dealt with a case of one of Deya’s ’miracle babies’.

Justice Ryder, of the High Court, ruled in November 2004, that a Deya provided ’miracle baby’ in London was NOT a miracle baby, but a victim of child trafficking. He expressed his deep concern for the child and his future, finding the boy, referred to as ’C’, ’may not be Kenyan though he is almost certainly African... Having regard to the facts I have found...a. C is not the child of those adults who have claimed to be his parents; b. C is the natural child of unknown parents from whom he was by an unknown means removed; c. C’s identity is at present unknown; d. If C’s future care is founded upon a lie he will likely suffer profound harm; e. At the point that protective steps were taken C’s care was based upon a fundamental lie. I am not in a position to make a final decision about C’s future although I have no doubt that the balance of the evidence as to the risk of harm is against Mr and Mrs E and strongly suggests that C’s welfare demands that he remain in the protective care of the local authority for the time use their best endeavours to work with central Government and police agencies here and abroad to try and trace C’s birth parents. I urge those agencies to act swiftly: C needs his future to be settled without delay.’

His findings revealed, in relation to the Deya follower who believed she had a miraculous pregnancy, and referred to as Mrs. E., that, ’In a cruel deception to further the financial ends of those involved Mrs E was deceived into thinking that she had given birth. She was seriously assaulted and a live child who had been born to another family was presented to her as her child. I cannot say where the child originated from.’

Justice Ryder was adamant in his ruling that the baby’s ’birth is not a miracle and he is not the child of Mr and Mrs E.’, repeating that his ’...birth as described was a falsehood not a miracle’ adding: ’The birth certificate of C is false...The process of registration was organised by Mrs Deya.’

He was far from impressed with Gilbert Deya and his testimony: ’Deya is economical with the truth. I found him to be a self serving and superficial witness who was only too happy to distance himself from the facts and even from his own wife when it suited his purpose. He would have the court believe that he has no personal knowledge and no personal involvement. For a man who deals in revealed truth he is remarkably sceptical and conditional about the words and experiences of others upon whom he supposedly depends.’

Also: ’The element of condemnation in the hands of the unscrupulous is all too easy to imagine, but I do not need to imagine it, I am satisfied it exists having regard to the force of Mr Deya’s rhetoric which I heard in court on this and other issues. Mr Deya relies upon that condemnation but also upon the grateful contributions of those who believe. It is a sad example of the dangers of literal interpretation in the hands of the corrupt.’

He also found that the supposed ’miracle babies’ were used to generate funds: ’The financial benefit comes from the very success of the ministry. Mr Deya explained in evidence the success of his ministry by reference to the miracles...The funds of his ministry have been generated at least in part by the tithes collected from a congregation that, on the facts I have found, has been deceived by the claims that have been made about Mr and Mrs E’s miracle births.’

The High Court Judge also justified suppression of the names of medical witnesses who were not members of Deya’s organisation

I have protected the identities of the medical witnesses who are outside the Gilbert Deya Ministry and who gave evidence to the court. I have done so because there has been evidence that more than one of them has been impliedly threatened...I wish to make it clear that this court will immediately take steps to protect any of its witnesses or its process from interference.’

Manipulation and intimidation seem to be consistent with Gilbert Deya and leaders in his ’Ministry’.

It is both instructive and worthwhile reading the full judgement at:

After Deya fled to Scotland, after his wife’s arrest in Kenya, he was eventually recognised and detained. He was arrested under Immigration Extradition laws in 2006 and has vigorously fought against his extradition, claiming it is all a political conspiracy and that the Kenyan government want to torture and kill him for his political views. The Kenyan police want him on at least five child stealing charges. It seems he could also be wanted as a participant in a plot to murder a Kenyan police officer.

His appeal efforts fairly much came to an end in November 2008 when two British High Court judges rejected Deya permission to appeal against to the House of Lords against his extradition order. Unless Deya can raise sufficient support and successfully take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, he may soon be on his way back to his native Kenya to face the music over his baby stealing child trafficking scam - in the name of God.

Deya fears facing the consequences of his immoral and illegal child trafficking activities in his country of origin - hence his belligerent curses against Kenya and its leaders.

Deya has been described in glowing terms by many people, especially those who believe, or want to believe, in the Word/Faith Prosperity message e.g.: ’...a man in whom the spirit of god moves as it did in the days of old. A special gift of healing for ANY disease. Cancer, impotence, bankruptcy, poverty. Because of this gifting the MEDIA has accused him of child trafficking children. Authorities put his wife and his children in prison for four years and placed him under house arrest just like paul, stephen, john were persecuted for the faith exactly the same thing.’

To compare this child trafficking charlatan with Paul, Stephen and John reveals a lack Biblical understanding and discernment. The Biblical record makes it clear that these Apostles were persecuted for their FAITH, not phony promises, child trafficking or anything like Deya’s activities and outrageous miracle claims: ’Dear Partner, Re: Miracle Handkerchief Point of Contact to Partners - Miracle anointing of the Holy Ghost be upon you in Jesus’ Name. Historical, unusual, incredible miracle is happening to people through me which has given me confidence in this end time calling of our Lord Jesus Christ...Partner I am prepared to send you a miracle point of contact handkerchief from my body in order for you to experience what happened with the apostles as written above that handkerchiefs and aprons taken from Apostle Paul’s body healed the sick, cured diseases and cast evil spirits out. Partner have that faith act because action speaks louder than words. Motivate your faith by action and make miracles work in your personal life, Amen...It is for your own benefit for you to give to the Kingdom of God by supporting dbn with only £2 a week in order to finance the miracles of Jesus for the benefit of mankind’s salvation... Please note that obedience is better than sacrifice. Move in faith. Faith without action is dead! Act now Partner Returning your form NOW will be an action of faith. Please send your form and send donation of £2 or more to dbn’s account. As soon as we receive your form and donation, I will definitely send you a miracle-working handkerchief. Your handkerchief is already waiting to take action.’ (30/09/09 - http://deyabroadcasting

We hope and pray that the Kenyan authorities are able to trace and reunite parents and the babies stolen by Gilbert and Mary Deya - and that justice will be done and Deya’s scam be fully exposed for the cruel, immoral and illegal exploitation that it is. Deya’s criminal activities have absolutely NOTHING to do with miracles or with God. Deya has done the crime and needs to do the time - and then he needs to learn the lessons of genuine repentance and restitution to discover the reality of God’s grace and forgiveness.

(First published in TAKE A CLOSER LOOK, Vol.30, No.5; Sep-Oct 2009)