A pastor in Mozambique has died after trying to emulate Jesus’ 40 day fast.
Founder of Santa Trindade Evangelical Church Francisco Barajah passed away on Wednesday after he had fasted for 25 days.
He had lost so much weight and strength that was unable to stand on his own.
It was only after his family and friends became concerned for his wellbeing that the church leader was admitted to hospital in a critical condition and was diagnosed with acute anaemia and failure of his digestive organs.
Pastor Francisco who, according to the BBC was also a French teacher, was attempting to recreate Jesus’ fast in the wilderness as told in the Bible’s Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
Luke chapter four narrates how after fasting for “forty days and forty nights” Jesus was tempted by the devil but passed the test.
“He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry,” Luke 4:2 reads.
There’s disagreement among Bible scholars as to the conditions of Jesus’ fast. Some argue he completely gave up on food while some others says he survived off scraps in the wilderness.
The Bible is unclear as to whether Jesus gave up water.
Pastor Francisco’s brother, Marques Manuel Barajah, told the BBC his sibling had fasted but did not accept the doctor’s diagnosis.
"The truth is that my brother suffered from low blood pressure," he said.
This is not the first time that someone dies while attempting a religious fast. In 2001, a woman in London passed away attempting a similar fast while in 2015 a Zimbabwean man died after 30 days of no food nor water.