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45 die as Pastor tells followers to fast to death to meet Jesus

Over 45 persons have died and their corpses recovered after a self-acclaimed Pastor Paul Makenzi of the Good News International Church in Kenya subjected his followers to fast in order “to meet Jesus”.

CONVERSEER gathered that the corpses were discovered over the weekend across the south eastern County of Kilifi.

According to Kenya’s Criminal Investigation Department, most of the remains found so far were on land owned by the self-proclaimed pastor.

One of Makenzi’s followers was rescued Sunday, April 23, 2023, as she would not end her fast.

The Pastor has been in detention for over a week. He will be tried in court on May 2, 2023.

Reports have it that six of his followers are also in detention.

According to Africanews, Hussein Khalid, Director of rights group, Haki Africa, warned: “This clearly shows that there are many who are still in there, who are continuing with this fast and possibly dying, every second that passes by”.

He added, “It is why we are appealing to the national government to send boots on the ground.”

CONVERSEER further learned that the pastor has been arrested twice before, in 2019 and in March of this year, in relation to the deaths of children. Each time, he was released on bail, and both cases are still proceeding through the court.

In what has been tagged as a “cult”, local politicians in Kenya have urged the court not to release the pastor this time, decrying the “spread of cults in the Malindi area”.

According to the Police, a tipoff from members of the public led to the raid of Makenzi’s property in Malindi, where they had found 15 emaciated people, including the four who later died. The followers said they were starving on the pastor’s instructions in order “to meet Jesus.”

45 die as Pastor tells followers to fast to death to meet Jesus

The Police were told there were dozens of shallow graves spread across Makenzi’s farm and digging started on Friday, April 21, 2023.

After the rescue, Khalid urged for psychosocial counselling for the survivors and members of the church.

He said: “These are victims, these are not criminals. We need psychosocial counselling so that they can be deradicalised and understand what is happening”.

On his part, Sebastian Muteti, a child protection officer in Malindi sub-county, Kilifi county said he was horrified.

He said “Childhood belongs to the family and the community. And here when they were coming out, they were tied with ropes and forced to fast for up to, until they pass on.

“That is a big blow and a big shock to our country. What cruelty if not this one”.

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Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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