NAIROBI, April 25 — In a tragic development, over 70 bodies have been discovered in mass graves in a forest in Kenya. According to reports, the deceased were members of the Good News International Church who were convinced by their leaders to fast and ultimately starve themselves in order to reach heaven before the end of the world. The authorities were alerted to the situation by Haki Africa, a local rights organization, and have so far exhumed 39 bodies with a confirmed death toll of 58. The Red Cross has reported 112 people missing, leading to fears that the final count may be even higher. While 29 survivors have been found, some were reluctant to be rescued due to their belief at the end of the world.
Pastor Makenzie Nthenge, the head of the Good News International Church, has been charged in connection with the deaths of two children whose parents had joined the church. President William Ruto, a devout Christian himself, has denounced Nthenge, describing him as someone who “does not belong to any religion”. Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki has called the situation a “massacre”. Experts like theologian and psychologist Dr James Kipsang Barngetuny have pointed out the issue with the proliferation of unregulated small churches in Kenya that allow unscrupulous leaders to manipulate people’s beliefs for their own gain.
The country, which is predominantly Christian, with 85% of the population identifying as such, has been shocked by the discovery of the mass graves. There is a growing concern regarding how so many individuals could willingly starve themselves to death and the reasons behind their tragic actions. The search and rescue operation in the forest is ongoing, with locals coming forward to report missing relatives. The full extent of this tragedy is yet to be fully revealed, as investigators continue to examine the evidence. – Namibia Daily News