Police in Kenya have arrested another popular pastor and closed his church on the Indian Ocean coast as the number of deaths linked to a cult in the region rose to 103.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Police in Kenya have arrested yet another popular pastor on the country’s Indian Ocean coast as the number of deaths linked to a cult in the region rose to 103 on Thursday.
According to a statement by Home Minister Keithuri Kindiki, “Priest Ezekiel Odero is on trial to face criminal charges related to the mass killing of his followers.”
Odero will be questioned overnight and is expected to appear in court on Friday.
Coast Regional Coordinator Rhoda Onyansha said his church was closed and those found inside had been ordered out.
Odero’s megachurch, New Life Prayer Center Church, is located in Malindi County, where another pastor, Paul Mackenzie, is being investigated for allegedly directing his followers to fast until death.
Police were exhuming the bodies at a farm owned by Mackenzie, where he had moved in 2019 after his church in Malindi was closed. As part of the move, he reportedly sold his TV channel to Odero.
Odero TV is popular in Kenyan homes, with people traveling from all over the country to visit his church.
His YouTube channel has more than 400,000 subscribers and more than 70 million views.
Odero’s massive campaigns in the past have been attended by top politicians, including Vice President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife, Reverend Dorcas.
Kenya is a largely religious society.
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