The sect International Church of the Good News was deleted by the Kenyan authorities from the register of religious associations. Her superior called on the faithful to starve themselves to death in order to “meet Jesus”, the AFP news agency reported on Friday. At least 425 people have died.
Most people who the bodies were found in shallow graves in the spring of this year in the village of Shakahola near the town of Malindidied as a result of extreme fasting, but the bodies of some children bore signs of suffocation or severe beatings.
The cult’s leader, Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who promised believers that they would “meet Jesus” by starving themselves, was arrested in April.
In addition to the Good News International Church, the authorities also banned four other religious organizations, at least one of which had close ties to the cult of Pastor MacKenzie. Both leaders of religious groups are currently charged with mass killings and radicalization of believers.
Four thousand religious associations
There are 4,000 registered religious associations in Kenya, which has a population of almost 60 million, reminded AFP.
Many of them are led by charismatic preachers who offer the faithful the so-called “Gospel of Abundance”. As part of it, the faithful are to transfer significant funds to their Church in exchange for the promise that they too will be rewarded with material abundance.
Main photo source: Reuters