Kenya Cult Death Toll Hits 200, With More Than 600 Reported Missing

The death toll in relation to a cult in Kenya has risen to 201.


Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, (C) who set up the Good News International Church in 2003 and is accused of inciting cult followers to starve to death "to meet Jesus", appears at the Shanzu law courts in Mombasa on May 5, 2023. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP) (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The death toll connected to a doomsday cult in Kenya went up to 201 on Saturday after authorities found 22 more bodies, according to NBC News

Those who died are assumed to be the followers of Paul Mackenzie, a pastor based in the coastal part of the African country. Mackenzie allegedly ordered his followers of the Good News International Church to starve themselves to death to meet Jesus, as most of the bodies had signs of starvation. 

Authorities dug up hundreds of bodies from several mass graves spread across Mackenzie’s 800-acre property in Kilifi. Last week, several autopsies were conducted on more than 100 bodies and showed the victims died of starvation, strangulation, and suffocation while sustaining injuries from blunt objects.

Local media outlets have also been reporting that internal body organs have been missing from the corpses. The search for bodies has yet to cease, as there are reportedly over 600 people still missing from the cult. 

Mackenzie was arrested last month and is still in custody while expecting to be charged with terrorism-related offenses. His wife and 16 other suspects are scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month.

Authorities do not have a concrete number of survivors that have been rescued from Mackenzie’s huge property. Several people were reportedly too weak to walk on their own when they were found. 

This isn’t the first instance of death that Mackenzie has been associated with. In the past, the cult leader was charged with the deaths of children from his congregation.

Latest in Music