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73 starvation deaths in Kenya linked to cult

At least 73 people have died of starvation linked to a cult in Kenya. Associated Press

73 starvation deaths in Kenya linked to cult

Police in Kenya said Monday they exhumed dozens of bodies from mass graves on land owned by the leader of the so-called Good News International Church. The group’s leader reportedly told members to starve themselves, according to the human rights organization Haki Africa. A group of emaciated survivors was rescued, but some later died. The Kenyan Red Cross on Sunday said 112 people had been reported missing.

What led to this tragedy? The cult’s leader, Paul Makenzi, told his followers to fast until they died to reach heaven. Kenyan authorities on April 15 arrested Makenzi on charges of “cultism” and have been investigating the group’s practices. He had been arrested twice before on similar charges—last month and in 2019—and was released on bond in those cases. Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday compared the deaths to an act of terrorism.

Dig deeper: Read Bob Brown’s review of the Netflix series Waco: American Apocalypse, which revisits the 51-day Waco siege and ensuing tragedy.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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