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LATEST reports from Kenya, where police are combing a forest occupied by a Christian cult led by pastor Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, above, indicate that 73 bodies have now been recovered, with more expected.
The death toll, which has continued to rise as exhumations of shallow graves are carried out, could rise further. The Kenyan Red Cross said 112 people have been reported missing to a tracing and counseling desk it has set up at a local hospital.
All were members of Nthenge’s Good News International Church who believed they would get to meet Jesus if they starved themselves to death.
Kenya’s President William Ruto said yestderday (Monday):
What we are seeing … is akin to terrorism.
Image via YouTube
But astonishingly Ruto, above, said he had instructed law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the matter as a criminal case not linked to any religion!
Ruto, elected in 2022, was hyped as the country’s first evangelical Christian president and has not been shy about his faith, openly praying and weeping in churches before his election.
In this report, Ruto is quoted as saying that there was “no difference” between rogue pastors like Nthenge—currently on hunger strike in prison—and terrorists.
Seemingly unaware of the concept of irony, Ruto said:
Terrorists use religion to advance their heinous acts. People like Mr Mackenzie are using religion to do exactly the same thing.
I have instructed the agencies responsible to take up the matter and to get to the root cause and to the bottom of the activities of people who want to use religion to advance weird, unacceptable ideology.
Faith-based starvation trial begins in the UK
Meanwhile its reported here that “a deeply religious mother” killed her three-year-old son through fasting during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Olabisi Abubakar, 42, originally from Nigeria, is on trial charged with manslaughter and two counts of child cruelty relating to the death of Taiwo Abubakar.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that police were called to her flat in the Cathays area on June 29, 2020, after a friend raised concerns for her welfare.
Mark Heywood KC, prosecuting, said officers forced entry and found a “tragic and distressing scene”.
Olabisi Abubakar was lying on a sofa bed. She was noticeably thin, malnourished and dehydrated.
Heywood told the court:
The prosecution case is that Ms Abubakar consciously and deliberately neglected Taiwo by failing to provide him with food and water, causing him to join her in fasting as a religious act.
Ms Abubakar is a deeply religious Pentecostal Christian, for whom fasting is a tenet of her faith. Her religion makes it clear that fasting is an act of devotion, and children—too young to understand this—should not fast.
The evidence suggests that in 2020, fearful of the coronavirus pandemic and under personal pressure, she caused Taiwo to fast both of food and water along with her.
Mr Heywood said it was not disputed that Abubakar had neglected Taiwo but the issue was her state of mind at the time.
Two psychiatrists are due to give evidence that she was suffering from delusions brought on by paranoid schizophrenia.
Jurors will have to decide whether Abubakar may have been insane, which would make her not guilty by reason of insanity.
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If you spot any typos in this report, please alert me via email: freethinkered@aol
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