- author, Oumou Kalsoum Ba – The best of Oumou Kalsoum Ba
- stock, BBC Africa Correspondent
More than 200 dead, the current toll from an excavation in Kenya Police are still searching for the dead, after a priest told his followers to fast to go to heaven…many of his followers refused and died. Eat for long days. An excuse that leads us to talk about religions and their usefulness, and above all, how to avoid falling into bigotry and religious extremism.
The case made headlines in Kenya last week. She traveled all over the world. Eventually, the priest who told his followers to starve to heaven was caught by the police.
Several measures were taken following this unfortunate event, for example, a night curfew and a 1-month ban on assembly in the Shakahola forest in the east of the country.
Bodies were recently found in dozens of graves in the vicinity of the Good News International Church. The official death toll stands at over 200.
Dorcas Wangira, Families with Broken Hearts, Siblings Destroyed by Pastor Paul Mackenzie Nthenge discovered.
Christine Nicola looks bitterly at photos of her loved ones on her cell phone. His nephew and niece were found dead. His sister, his brother and six members of his family are missing. All of them are members of Good News International Church.
“I don’t know where she is, sister, but we must act quickly before she dies. She apparently fasted for 22 days,” he says.
Officials exhume a body in the Shakahola forest in eastern Kenya.
Advocates and legal groups estimate that there are more than 60 shallow illegal communes in the region. People came from all over Kenya. Church followers think family will take them to heaven.
Jacob Zuma is searching for his 26-year-old son, who has been missing for 4 months.
“When I asked him what he engaged in, he replied, “Man does not live by eating, many people fast.” Juma says.
As the search continued, Kenyan police arrested a second televangelist, Pastor Ezekiel Otero, who draws large crowds to his religious events.
Police interrogated him over allegations of suspicious deaths at his church.
Authorities have not linked the new case to the detention of controversial preacher Paul McKenzie, who allegedly ordered hundreds of his followers to starve.
The church official is scheduled to appear in court on May 2. He and 14 members of his group have been detained. They are suspected of committing murder, inciting terrorism and threatening public security.
The Defense Minister has already visited the place and the government has already appointed the culprits.
“The government of Kenya will do everything in its power to bring this infamous church leader and his associates to justice. They will serve a painful sentence. We do not expect this man to get out of prison, he may spend the rest of his life there.”
The government has agreed that these events should never happen. People believe that the authorities took time before taking action.
Crime investigators said they have searched 32 graves so far. A search of 800 hectares of land will turn up hundreds of corpses.
A handful of workers gather outside a mortuary in the coastal town of Malindi. The mortuary is already full. It can hold 300 bodies.
Psychological analysis of facts
Why do religious leaders often create dependence on their followers?
According to Abel Feho, a psychologist at the University of Yaoundé 1, “This is a symptomatic situation of a social context that lacks its own anthropological identities. With the lack of a model, we see a multifaceted crisis. In Africa, we had models that showed many values, essential endogenous values. Today, the recommended values are wealth, money etc. rhymes with external factors. Usually because our cultures fall under superstition, believers think they have a new savior. Because we have been socialized with the superficial faith that you believe in imported religions. This is why many of these people think that salvation can fall from the sky through these popular religious guides. For Kenya, they pass Children who go. Those in front are not setting a good example.
According to the psychologist, many people today feel deeply depressed and they go to these kinds of religious guides to get rid of their sadness and inner pain.
“Whoever fasts always thinking that salvation will come from there, he has lived in bad situations before. At this point, we have to question the functioning of our macro society. Our rulers give us the impression that their aim is to plunge the people into poverty, deprivation and precarious living conditions that create discomfort in their homes. They think that only miracle will bring them happiness. »
“Even if you go to church regularly, you’re going to find social media bombarding us with prayers. It convinces people that salvation is only through prayer,” he continues.
Balance in religious practice to avoid sectarianism
“Religion is a compass. And many apostates have gone astray. The challenge is to make people understand that these churches were not created to keep us from the good. People go there because they lack values. How many people know that God is culture? How many people know that goods are not imported from abroad? »
Following all these questions, Abel Fehou, a psychologist at the University of Yaounde 1, the researcher offers recommendations:
- Ensure that ministers of worship can be examples to their community.
- Focus on socializing
According to him, the evil runs deep and the people responsible are these famous religious leaders who call themselves “prophets”.
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