Four followers of a controversial Kenyan church teacher have been found dead and another dozen in need of urgent hospital treatment after being found in a forest location in eastern Kilfi county.
According to Kenyan police, the group followed practices taught by the Good News International Church of Pastor Paul Mackenzie, including fasting while "waiting to meet Jesus".
Police said six of those found were emaciated and in critical condition.
A police report quoted by Kenyan newspaper The Nation says “We have received reports of ignorant citizens starving to death under the pretext of meeting Jesus after being brainwashed by a suspect, Makenzie Nthenge, a pastor of Good News International Church.”
Police said they are searching for more members of the group following reports that others were still in the forest. They say they also found a grave which they intend to investigate.
According to The Nation “Mackenzie’s followers say they have been told to starve to avoid apocalyptic damnation”, alleging “he believes he has spiritual prophetic power, further claiming to have seen apparitions of ‘Jesus’.”
“I am shocked about the accusations placed before me”, The Nation quotes Pastor Mackenzie responding.
“I closed my Good News International church in Malindi in August 2019 and it’s important for people to accept that.”