Who is Pastor Paul Mackenzie? Biography, Age, Career, Church, Family

Bio – Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who runs the Good News International Church in Shakahola, Malindi, Kenya, made the news after a massacre took place in the Shakahola forest. People were left shocked after Kenyan police found dozens of bodies in the eastern part of the country. Soon after this, Paul Mackenzie was arrested as he allegedly asked people to starve themselves so they could meet Jesus. He reportedly converted people to his beliefs and engaged them in fasting.

The bodies of the people were found during an investigation into a Christian cult that made its followers believe that they would go to heaven if they starved themselves to death. Al Jazeera reported that the police had launched their investigation on Friday, April 21, 2023, in a 325-hectare area of the forest in Shakahola.

According to the report, Charles Kamau, the head of criminal investigations in Malindi, said that they exhumed 26 bodies on Sunday, April 23, 2023. This took the total body count to 47.

Al Jazeera also reported that Paul Mackenzie was arrested on April 14, 2023, over links to cultism.

Pastor Paul Mackenzie relocated to Shakahola Forest in 2022

Pastor Paul Mackenzie is known for converting several people to his belief. He also got into a scuffle with local school authorities after its students became his followers and would even engage in regular fasting.

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Residents of the Migingo village in Malindi, Kilifi County also shed light on controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie. They said that he had relocated to the town in 2015 and that his sole purpose was to convert as many followers to his beliefs.

Neighbors told that Pastor Paul Mackenzie bought a field in the Shakahola forest where he relocated in 2022. He also converted many people into his followers at his then-newfound church, Good News International.

One of his neighbors, Johnson Katana, said that Mackenzie's followers began following him one by one. He added that it wasn't just children who fasted but even adults did and they were all at his every beck and call. Johnson added:

“A lot of marriages dissolved because of the pastor.”

As mentioned earlier, Mackenzie was arrested last week. However, he has now staged a hunger strike in his cell since his arrest, reported Kenya's NTV channel. It is also worth noting that the Pastor was also arrested twice previously, in 2019 and even in March 2023. Both times, he was released on bond and both cases against him are still in court.

The Pastor after there were concerns about the deaths of children. He was arrested in March for encouraging the parents of two boys to starve and suffocate them to death. However, he has maintained his innocence in both cases.

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Kenya's Interior Minister Kithure Kindike called the massacre incident shocking

Kenya's Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki spoke about the massacre incident and called it shocking. Kindike said that it is the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship.

He added:

“While the State remains respectful of religious freedom, this horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls, but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward.”

Kindike concluded by saying that the forest has now been sealed and declared a scene of a crime.

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