Australian Christian group fights claim it was linked to leader of Kenya starvation massacre doomsday cult

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A Christian doomsday cult responsible for the deaths of more than 400 people from starvation and beatings in Kenya was influenced by an Australian religious group, a parliamentary committee report in the east African nation has found.

The report into the Shakahola massacre, tabled in the Kenyan Senate on 19 October, found that the accused leader of the group, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, “was influenced by Dave Mackay and Sherry Mackay [Dave and Cherry McKay] from Australia who are founders of a cult movement known as the Voice in the Desert”.

The influence was “largely established through virtual links and social media”, the report found. It also said an “associate” of Dave McKay gave a sermon at Mackenzie’s Good News International church in 2019.

On 3 May 2023 the X/Twitter account for A Voice in the Desert posted: “Recently there has been a tragedy in a church in Kenya that we had links to. Over 100 members of the church have starved themselves to death!” The post promoted an article which has since been removed from the group’s website.

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