Four individuals have died and eleven have been rescued from a cult-like church in Malindi, Kilifi County. Local police have raised concerns about the increasing prevalence of cultism in the area and have stated that this issue requires urgent attention. Security agents were alerted to the situation after receiving a tip-off that there were numerous people starving to death on a private farm in the region.
The victims were reportedly informed that this was part of the process to meet Jesus. Police investigations have revealed evidence of deep-rooted cultism, with members exhibiting unusual characteristics such as being wild, violent and secretive. The pastor of a local church in the area is believed to be responsible for brainwashing the members, and has been previously arrested for a similar issue.
An insider in the church provided information alleging that there is a mass shallow grave containing 31 victims of the brainwashing, in an unidentified location at Shakahola Forest within Langobaya in Malindi Sub County. On April 13th, a group of police officers visited the scene on a fact-finding mission and rescued 15 individuals. However, four of the victims died during the evacuation, and six others were in critical condition due to severe emaciation.
Police have been unable to obtain details of the deceased victims, and will need to identify them through fingerprint elimination. Most of those rescued were not from the area, having travelled from western Kenya for the mission. Police have been unable to identify the mass grave due to the vast land and hostile residents in the forest, but suspect that there may be many more victims belonging to the suspect in the same location.
The bodies have been taken to Malindi Sub-County Hospital mortuary for identification and autopsy, and no arrests have been made at this time. The owner of the church has not provided any comment on the matter. The cult’s existence in the area had been previously reported by residents after the cult leader was apprehended for allegedly directing parents to starve two children to death to protect them from a looming catastrophe in the past.
One survivor has alleged that the fasting was meant to assure children of their ascension to heaven and save them from a looming calamity. The pastor had reportedly encouraged his congregants to fast, especially children, believing that the future was full of disasters and that children should die and inherit the kingdom of God. Malindi sub-County police boss John Kemboi has stated that special attention is being paid to this issue for now.