Website: Leicester Mercury
Link : https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/leicester-jesus-centre-run-independently-2927608
The Jesus Fellowship Church closed after 200 complaints of abuse were made.
A Christian-run charity in Leicester will run independently after its operator closed over child sex abuse claims.
Leicester Jesus Centre was formerly operated by the Jesus Fellowship Church (JFC), an orthodox evangelical church.
According to the BBC the church has now closed down following a series of historical cases of abuse.
Northamptonshire Police are investigating the claims after around 200 complaints were made against the JFC in the area.
However, a solicitor said he was also aware of at least one victim outside of Northamptonshire.
The JFC, previously known as the Jesus Army, has been described by victims as a 'cult', and as having a 'totalitarian regime'.
Two women, who were abused by members of the church as teenagers, claimed that children were not allowed possessions, and could only attend schools directed by the organisation.
So far six men from the church have been sentenced for the indecent and sexual assault of 11 victims between the 1970s and 1990s.
Seven Jesus Centres around the country will remain open independent from the JFC including the ones in Northampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Kettering, London, and Sheffield.
The Jesus Centre in Mansfield Street, Leicester city centre , opened in 2017.
A number of community programmes are held at the centre including a drop-in for prisoner's families, and a satellite of the Open Hands Food Store.
A statement released by Jesus Fellowship Church spokesman, Laurence Cooper, said: "The National Leadership Team and the members of the JFC recognise that, over a sustained period of time, there have been faults and failures in the church that have had a profound impact on many people's lives.
"We are deeply sorry for, and appalled by the abuse that has taken place within Jesus Fellowship Church and the New Creation Christian Community and offer our heartfelt sympathy and unreserved apology to all those affected.
"We are committed to working with the police and social services to ensure that all allegations of abuse that come to our attention are dealt with appropriately and encourage anyone with concerns to report them."
A further statement issued by Chelly Walsma, CEO, and the Trustees of the Jesus Centres Trust, reads: "For the Jesus Centres around the country, the work continues and is more necessary than ever in the face of the many homeless, vulnerably housed and socially isolated people who come to us for support in the absence of adequate provision elsewhere.
"We want to thank our friends and supporters, including other churches, for their support at this time. The charity can continue to work only because volunteers and staff believe in the mission of the charity, and donors continue to give.
We thank them all for their understanding and their much-needed help."