A Kenyan Good News cult leader accused of ordering his followers to starve themselves to death will remain in custody pending trial on Friday, a court has said. The bodies of 101 people have been found so far, but investigators are still discovering more.
In the village of Shakahola, which was the seat of the International Church of the Good News, 101 bodies have so far been found buried in shallow graves. Authorities Kenya they claim to have been followers of 50-year-old Paul Mackenzie, a cult leader who convinced members that the world would end on April 15 and urged them to commit suicide so that they would be the first to go to heaven.
So far, as a result of the activities of the sect’s leader, 109 people found in mass graves have died, eight were still alive at the time of discovery, but doctors failed to save them. The interior ministry said more than 400 people were missing in the area.
The pastor promised that they would “meet Jesus”
Paul Mackenzie, who is in police custody, has not commented publicly on the allegations against him. Two lawyers acting on his behalf declined to comment. Earlier, the police detained pastor Ezekiel Odero, suspected of being associated with the sect, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said on Thursday.
Followers of the Good News sect starved themselves to death, which pastor Mackenzie encouraged them to do, promising that they would “meet Jesus.” Kenya’s interior minister, Kithure Kindiki, announced that every clergyman would be required to abide by the laws in force. – We will not allow cruel people, terrorists and criminals to use religion and defend themselves with the freedom of religion enshrined in our constitution – said the minister.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/STR