Kenyan Cult Survivors, Still Refusing to Eat, Face Suicide Charges

As of this week, 318 bodies have been exhumed from the Shakahola Forest, an 800-acre bushland area where the pastor and his congregants lived and where those who died had been buried in shallow graves at least since 2021. At least 613 people remain missing, county officials said, while 95 others have so far been rescued.

The case, which first came to public attention in April, has jolted Kenya, with rights groups and observers wondering how the police and intelligence services failed to prevent the deaths for so long.

In a country where religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution, the affair has also raised questions about whether the authorities should regulate religious institutions. The gruesome deaths of so many people have raised concerns about the need to track and address religious extremism.

Kenya’s president, William Ruto, a devout Christian and the country’s first evangelical leader, has appointed a commission to investigate the killings. Kithure Kindiki, the cabinet secretary for Kenya’s interior ministry, said that the forest would be turned into a national memorial. But rights groups have argued that the government should do more, including compensating the victims and their families.

What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.