The Facebook page “New life church near shanzu” offers prayers to Facebook users. But when they reach out, it asks for money – an “offering”.
The page uses the photos of Ezekiel Odero, a popular Kenyan preacher who runs the New Life Prayer Centre and Church.
One of its posts, dated 29 January 2023, reads in Kiswahili: “TUNAPO IAGA SIKU YA LEO NAOMBA MWENYEZI MUNGU AKAWEZE KUKUFUNGULIA NJIA ZAKO KWA KUWA MATATIZO YAKO YAMEFIKA MWISHO.”
It adds: “SIKU YA LEO KAMA UNGETAKA NIKUOMBE AMA UNAOMBI LA DHARURA NIPIGIE AMA KUNITUMIA UJUMBE KUPITIA 0202535100 BILA WOGA WOWOTE.”
This translates as: “As we end this day, I pray that the almighty God opens your doors because your problems have come to an end. If today you want me to pray for you or you have an urgent prayer call me or send me a message through 0202535100 without any fear.”
Similar posts on the page have attracted hundreds of likes, shares and comments.
But does the page really represent Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre and Church?
Signs of a fake page
We searched online for the New Life Prayer Centre and Church and found its YouTube channel, New Life TV KENYA.
It has more than 408,000 subscribers. All the preacher’s activities are posted on the channel.
The channel lists its official phone numbers as +254 723596503, +254 703333363, +254 700873451 and +254 702666222. The numbers 0202535100 and 0770053552 used by the fake page are not among them.
We contacted the number 0202535100 and we were told to deposit cash first, before prayers could be given.
Legit Facebook page
The church’s YouTube channel includes a link to the website newlifeprayercenterandchurch.org.
The website in turn links to the church’s official Facebook page, which has more than 227,000 followers. The page transparency section shows it was created on 5 December 2020. The fake page was created on 23 September 2022. It has 46,000 followers.
It is unlikely for the preacher to run two Facebook pages with different contact details.
Africa Check has exposed several Facebook pages and accounts impersonating Odero and his church. This is one of them.
To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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