Concerns regarding minors prompted police raid at Bayith Yahweh

June 07, 2023
Janet Silvera photo

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clifford Chambers, has confirmed that about 20 children who were removed from Bayith Yahweh compound in Montego Bay, St James are now before the St James Family Court. 

The confirmation follows this morning's joint police-military operation on the religious compound prompted by concerns surrounding the minors at the location.

The operation was led by the Child Development and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and CISOCA.

According to the Chambers, the adults were not arrested, but the authorities must exercise care and guardianship over the children that were removed. The intention in the first instance is to conduct the interviews of the children in their presence

This is also not the first time that the Jamaican authorities have been forced to remove children from the facility.

In 2019, the Bayith’s chief apostle Omar Thompson, accused the authorities of traumatising his three children after they were taken from the property and handed over to their mother.

His wife at the time, Shirnett Davis Thompson told The STAR that child marriages were common-place at the communal compound. It is alleged that teenagers as young as 15 were also impregnated by older men.

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