In Kenya’s coastal Kilifi county, four individuals were found dead and nearly a dozen others were hospitalized on Thursday after being rescued while awaiting the imminent end of the world.
Believed to be members of Pastor Paul Mackenzie’s Good News International Church, the victims claimed they were instructed to fast in order to avoid “apocalyptic damnation,” according to the police.
Authorities have rescued 11 people so far, with six of them found emaciated and in critical condition. The search for more members of the group will resume on Friday morning as reports suggest others may still be in the forest.
During their investigation, the police also discovered a mass shallow grave at Shakahola Forest in Langobaya, Malindi. However, due to the hostile behavior of residents believed to be the suspect’s followers, the police were unable to conduct further activities at the site, as stated in the report.
The self-styled spiritual leader, who was previously a controversial televangelist, has been under the detectives’ radar for preaching a dangerous doctrine that encourages followers to starve themselves to death in order to reach heaven faster.
Despite being present at the crime scene during the police’s visit on Thursday evening, April 13, the pastor was not arrested as he is currently out on police bail after being charged last month in connection with the death of two children whose parents are among his followers.