Kenya’s starvation cult left over 100 dead – a psychologist’s view on how to support people as they process tragedy

Published By with Comments

Categorized as Cult Crimes Tagged , , , , ,

In early April 2023, Kenyan police discovered a mass grave linked to a Pentecostal church in the coastal town of Malindi. By the end of the month, at least 110 bodies had been dug up from shallow graves in the area’s Shakahola forest.

A loss of this magnitude is traumatic and painful for the families and friends directly affected, and also for the public exposed to the details. The level of media attention, public backlash and judgement of the dead makes the experience of the loss even more difficult for those directly concerned.

The Shakahola story is being controlled by parties outside the families affected because of the government scrutiny and a police investigation related to the criminal case against the church leader. This has the potential to disrupt healthy grieving.

Africa is considered one of the most religious continents in the world. Many people use religion as a coping mechanism during difficult moments, yet in this case, religion is centre stage as the possible perpetrator of the grief being experienced. This complicates the grieving process as people experience betrayal from one of their most valued support systems: religion.

Most families will adapt their own style and process – all valid – to handle the pain and trauma. As a counselling psychologist, I have conducted studies on how communities deal with death and found unique practices that help in processing grief.

Content retrieved from:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trenton, New Jersey 08618
609.396.6684 | Feedback

Copyright © 2022 The Cult News Network - All Rights Reserved