Kenyan pastor suspected in cult deaths to remain jailed

by | May 8, 2023 | Religion

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A court in Kenya on Friday gave police five more days to hold a pastor facing possible terror-related charges in the deaths of more than 100 his congregants, many of whom are believed to have starved to death.Police rescued 15 emaciated parishioners from the 800-acre Kilifi County property of Paul Mackenzie last month. Four of them died after the group was taken to a hospital, and survivors told investigators the pastor had instructed them to fast to death before the world ends so they could meet Jesus.
A search of Mackenzie’s property, located in a remote forested area, found more than 100 bodies and dozens of mass graves dug out, authorities have said. Autopsies on the bodies were ongoing, but completed ones showed some of the buried people had died of starvation, strangulation or suffocation.
Mackenzie was arrested two weeks ago for alleged links to cultism. A lower court freed him this week but he was rearrested and presented to a higher court. Police have said their investigations pointed to signs of radicalization.
The court that ordered Mackenzie held for five more days is considering an application for a further 90-day detention.
The pastor was arrested twice before — in 2019 and in March of this year — in connection with the dea …

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