Ezekiel Odero is a very well known pastor and President of the New Life Prayer Center and Church in Kenya. He usually draws crowds to his gatherings, where he sells, among other things, bits of “holy” dust that are said to cure ailments.
Mombasa police arrested the priest on Thursday. “Odero faces criminal charges in connection with the mass killing of his followers,” said Kenyan Foreign Minister Keithor Kindike. “The aforementioned church is closed. More than 100 people trapped in the building have been evacuated,” the minister added.
The Kenyan police have not yet revealed the exact circumstances surrounding the mass killing, according to the “Guardian”. The head of the church was transferred to the regional police headquarters in Mombasa.
The arrest comes after the Kenyan authorities announced measures against “unacceptable sects” described as “terrorists”. The new measures came after 98 followers of the Good News International church, most of them children, were found lifeless. They died after following the teachings of Reverend Paul Mackenzie Nthingi, who preached strict fasting as a way to meet God.
Kenyan President William Ruto has vowed to “act against these self-appointed pastors who want to use religion to promote dark and unacceptable ideologies”.
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