Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2023. 5:03 pm CST.
Photo courtesy: BBC
By Breaking Belize News Staff: Kenyan police have exhumed 47 bodies, including those of children, near the coastal town of Malindi while investigating a preacher who reportedly told followers to starve to death, according to the BBC. Exhumations are ongoing in Shakahola forest, where 15 members of the Good News International Church were rescued last week.
The church leader, Paul Makenzie Nthenge, is currently in custody pending a court appearance. State broadcaster KBC described him as a “cult leader” and reported that 58 graves have been identified so far. Nthenge denies wrongdoing and claims that he shut down his church in 2019. He allegedly told followers to starve themselves to “meet Jesus.”
Pathologists will conduct tests on the exhumed bodies to determine if the victims died of starvation. Police arrested Nthenge on April 15 after discovering four bodies suspected of having starved to death.
The entire 800-acre forest has been sealed off and declared a crime scene by Kenyan Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki. According to The Standard, Nthenge named three villages Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Judea, and baptized followers in ponds before instructing them to fast.
Kenya has experienced previous cases of people being drawn into dangerous, unregulated churches or cults due to its religious nature.
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