At least 73 bodies have been exhumed by Kenyan police after followers of Pastor Paul Mackenzie, a controversial preacher from the Good News International Church, were told to abandon “earthly life” and fast “to meet Jesus” at his farm.
The government began a rescue mission after two children starved to death on March 16 and 17 following Mackenzie’s advice. Investigations led the police to Shakahola, where 16 emaciated people were found, four of whom died before reaching the hospital.
A total of 27 people were rescued and admitted to the hospital for severe malnutrition, with 39 known members of the cult still missing. The search continues for bodies and survivors. There are unverified reports that some of the cult members who were captured trying to escape the fast were killed and buried. Mackenzie is in custody, having surrendered to police on April 14.
The unfolding Shakahola Forest Massacre is the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship. Prima facie, large- scale crimes under Kenyan law as well as international law have been committed. While the State remains respectful of religious…
— Kithure Kindiki (@KindikiKithure) April 23, 2023