Deadly Fasting in Kenya: Pastor to Stand Trial for 191 “Murders”

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He will this time be tried for 191 murders. One person was found mentally unfit to stand trial after psychiatric evaluations.

This former taxi driver turned pastor has been in custody since April 14, following the discovery of the first victims in the Shakahola forest in southeast Kenya, where the International Church of Good News, which he founded in 2010, used to gather. He advocated for his followers to fast to death to *”meet Jesus”* before the end of the world, which he predicted for August 2023.

The searches conducted in Shakahola, a vast area of bush on the Kenyan coast, led to the exhumation of 429 bodies, some of which had been buried for several years. Autopsies revealed that the majority of the victims died of starvation.

Some, including children, were strangled, beaten, or suffocated. The revelation of this scandal, dubbed the *“Shakahola massacre,”* has put the Kenyan authorities under criticism for failing to prevent the pastor’s actions, despite his multiple arrests for his extreme preaching.

In a report published in October, a senate commission pointed out *“failures”* in the justice and police systems, which had been alerted in 2017 and 2019. In July, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki stated that *“the Shakahola massacre (was) the worst security lapse in Kenya’s history.”*

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