More Than 400 Found Dead from Kenya Doomsday Cult

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Authorities in Kenya exhumed 12 bodies Monday, bringing the total number of deaths linked to a doomsday cult to over 400, the Associated Press reported.

Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who allegedly ordered his followers of the Good News International Church to fast to death in order to meet Jesus, is currently in police custody along with 36 other suspects, per the outlet.  In March, Mackenzie denied ordering his followers to starve during an interview with Kenyan outlet Nation, multiple outlets reported. None of the suspects currently in custody have been charged, though relatives of those who have died have been speaking out.

“He [Mackenzie] told them to starve themselves ahead of the world’s end on April 15, saying he would be that last one and that he would lock the doors,” said Stephen Mwiti, whose wife and six children joined the cult and are possibly among those who died, told Reuters in May.

The cult is reportedly based in a forested part of Malindi, Kenya, per a report on the new death toll from NBC News on Wednesday. Although Mackenzie claimed he had closed the church four years ago, according to the BBC.

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