Starve yourself to meet Jesus: This idea has cost the lives of at least 58 members of the Good News International Church in Kenya. This came according to the latest update of the Kenyan police, who are still rummaging in a forest near the eastern port city of Malindi, Reuters news agency reported. The dead were followers of notorious sect leader Paul Mackenzie, who had previously caused a stir by claiming the teaching was “satanic”.
The Kenyan police discovered the graves after information from the African Human Rights Organization. The emergency services also found members of two starving communities still alive at the site. Some survivors still refuse food despite their emaciated bodies. “Since she came here, she has refused all help and her mouth has remained tightly closed. She wants to keep fasting until she dies,” an aid worker told AFP Sunday of a woman found alive by Kenya’s emergency services.
According to Charles Kamau, who leads the criminal investigation, the search for the bodies has been in full swing since Friday. Search teams are still searching for survivors in the forest, which covers an area of more than three hundred hectares. The Kenya Red Cross reports that more than 100 people are missing so far.
Mackenzie is shown to have exceptional powers of persuasion through the bizarre things he’s been able to get his followers to do in recent years, which have resulted in him ending up behind bars for short periods several times.
In 2018, an uproar erupted in Kenya over a video circulating online in which a few young followers express their disgust with education. In it, one of the boys says that teaching is “for the wicked” – this is what is said in the Bible. A year ago, in a raid on the Mackenzie church building, police found 93 children, Kenyan news outlet Citizen Digital reportswho traded their home and school for the sect master’s lessons.
Kenya’s President William Ruto linked Mackenzie’s actions to “terrorism” on Monday. He said that the cult leader belongs to the prison and not to any religion. Roto: “Mr. Mackenzie pretends to be a priest, when in reality he is nothing more than a horrible criminal.”
McKenzie was also arrested once this year for allegedly telling parents to starve and strangle their children. The sect leader himself denies all allegations: he claims to be a target of hostile propaganda from other pastors. He is always released on bail, which allows him to continue his work. Mackenzie has now been held for a month, this time on suspicion of leading a cult. Politicians are trying to prevent him from being released again.
On Tuesday, Kenyan Home Minister Keithor Kindike is due to visit the burial grounds in the forest. he Speaking on Twitter “a clear violation of the constitutional freedom of religion” and calls for stricter regulation of religious communities.
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