Kenyan Families Endure Pain as First Bodies Emerge from Starvation Cult

( – In April 2023, Christian pastor and founder of the Good News International Church in Kenya, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, was arrested by local police. Authorities were investigating the cult leader for allegedly instructing his congregants to starve themselves to death. Over time, police found more than 400 bodies and just recently began returning some of them home.

On March 26, several grieving families waited outside a hospital mortuary in Kenya to receive their loved ones’ remains. While there was no word on exactly how many were returned for a proper burial, it seemed to be only a fraction of the overall number. One family member said he came to get his brother and didn’t even have the means to properly transport his remains.

Only 35 of the hundreds of bodies exhumed have been positively identified. Officials said the process was so lengthy because of procedural issues regarding exhumation and identification. Chairperson of the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Roseline Odede expressed frustration with the process, stating it would take a decade to return all the remains at the current pace.

The head of criminal investigations in Malindi, Charles Kamau, said at the time of Mackenzie’s arrest that the defendant told his followers “their work in this world [was] done,” so it was time to “die and go see their creator.” Kenyan Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki labeled the incident the “Shakahola Forest Massacre,” vowing to punish the “perpetrators of the atrocity.”

In June 2023, at least 613 were still missing from the original cult. Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha stated that 95 people had been rescued at the time, 35 people were arrested, and the death toll was at 251. Over the past 11 months, that number has ballooned to 429. Just weeks ago, Mackenzie and 94 of his cult members were charged with the murder of 191 kids. Only 11 of them have been identified. The gruesome discoveries were uncovered in shallow graves along the west coast of Africa.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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