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Boy Speaks Out For Sect

Missing teenager Bobby Kelly says he wants to dedciate the rest of his life to the religious group he disappeared with a month ago.

The 16-year-old from Romford, Essex, is thought to be with members of the Jesus Christians, whom he met handing out leaflets just before he ran away from home.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday, Bobby said the religious group was made up of "normal people".

I'm staying with the group, hopefully for the rest of my life

Bobby Kelly
The interview was broadcast after the BBC successfully challenged a gagging order in the High Court on Tuesday which had prevented it from reporting any interviews with the teenager.

The emergency ruling was granted to his family amid fears that the religious group planned to use the boy as a platform for its own ends.

Bobby told the BBC he missed his family, including his grandmother Ruth Kelly, who has made him a ward of court so he can be taken from the group when he is found.

"I am very homesick," he said.

"I miss my mum and my nan and my sister and a lot of other friends a lot, but it says in the Bible that you have to give everything up to work for God."

He said he had decided to join the Jesus Christians because they told the "full story" about the Bible.

'A fuss'

"It was the fact that they got right down to the nitty-gritty of the Bible and they believe in Jesus and the Bible's teachings and they don't miss anything out," he said.

"They tell the full story and that is why I love them so much and decided to join them.

"They are normal people, exactly like everyone else, except for the fact that they believe in Jesus and try to commit their lives to his teachings.

"I know exactly what I am doing and exactly why I joined."

Bobby said that he regarded the controversy over his disappearance as "a fuss over nothing" and the decision to make him a ward of court as "an overreaction".

Asked what he planned to do next, he said: "It all depends on the ward of court decision. If it is scrapped, then obviously I am going to stay with these people.


"Obviously, I will see my nan a few times a year to reassure her, but I can't see myself moving back in permanently with my nan.

"I can't live my life for God if I live with my nan. I'm staying with the group, hopefully for the rest of my life."

He added that plans to go to Germany as a missionary had been put on hold and said he was still in the UK and would remain here for at least two years.

The official solicitor Lawrence Oates, who has been appointed to represent Bobby's interests, appealed for the teenager to come forward.

"If it was clear that Bobby was acting of his own free will, then there was no reason why he would not be allowed to remain with the Jesus Christians," he said.

"But he should come forward so that the court can decide what to do in his best interests."


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