The Jesus Fellowship Church, an evangelical church based in the United Kingdom that was at one time known as the “Jesus Army,” has shut down amid hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse dating back decades.
The BBC reports that a wide-ranging criminal investigation has resulted in six men who belonged to the church being found guilty of sexually assaulting 11 different victims between the 1970s and 1990s.
In total, police in the city of Northamptonshire say they’ve received over 200 different sexual assault complaints involving members of the church, and officials say they’re continuing to investigate these allegations.
In shutting down, the church issued an apology to the people who have been victimized by its members while also stating that it was “appalled” by the revelations.
Solicitor David Greenwood, who is representing two women who claim to have been abused during their time in the church, tells the BBC that the entire organization is more or less a cult that left children vulnerable to sexual assault.
“I would classify it as a cult in as much as children were [taught] to be completely obedient to the rules made up by its sole leader,” said Greenwood, who also described the Jesus Army as a “totalitarian regime.”