Kenya Cult Deaths: Another Pastor Arrested As Deaths Toll Rises To 103
As the number of fatalities connected to a cult in the region increased to 103, police in Kenya on Thursday detained another well-known pastor on the Indian Ocean coast.
Interior minister Kithure Kindiki said that Ezekiel Odero “is being processed to face criminal charges related to the mass killing of his followers.”
Odero is scheduled to appear in court on Friday after being questioned all night.
According to officials, his church has been closed and anyone discovered inside has been told to leave.
In Malindi County, where another pastor, Paul Mackenzie, is under investigation for ordering his followers to fast until they die, Odero’s megachurch, the New Life Prayer Centre Church, is located.
At a ranch owned by Mackenzie, where he went in 2019 after closing his church in Malindi, police have been exhuming bodies. He reportedly sold his TV channel to Odero as part of the relocation.
Kenyans flock from all across the nation to visit Odero’s church because they are fans of his channel, which is well-liked in Kenyan homes.
More than 400,000 people subscribe to and watch 70 million videos on his YouTube channel.
Senior politicians, like the wife of the vice president Rigathi Gachagua, have previously participated in Odero’s crusades.
It is alleged that the self-styled preacher advised his followers to starve themselves to death in order to reach God.
Police worry that if they expand their search, the death toll may increase given the majority of those discovered in mass graves were children.
The horrific cult story has thus far resulted in at least 22 arrests.
Despite high-profile instances of cults and rogue pastors being involved in crime, previous attempts to control Kenya’s bewildering variety of churches and ministries have fallen short.
Following the discovery, the administration pledged to crack down on errant denominations.