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Ruto weighs in on Pastor Mackenzie's controversial Good News International church

President Ruto has described Pastor Mackenzie as a terrorist & issued orders against him

File image of President William Ruto at a past church service

President William Ruto has broken his silence on Pastor Paul Mackenzie of the Good News International church, who has been accused of influencing his followers to fast to their death.

Speaking on Monday, April 24, President William Ruto likened Pastor Mackenzie to a terrorist who uses religion to advance his unusual ideologies.

The head of state called for the prosecution of the arrested clergyman, saying that Mackenzie belongs in jail.

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We must, as a nation, continuously look out for those who want to abuse, even the religious sector. People are masquerading as religious people, yet what they do is contrary to the teachings and beliefs of religion, whether they are Christian, Muslim or any other religion.

What we are seeing in Shakahola, Kilifi county, is akin to terrorism. There is no difference between Mr Mackenzie who pretends and postures as a pastor when in fact, he is a terrible criminal,” he said.

President Ruto instructed the agencies concerned to investigate the church and get to the root cause of the activities of “people who are using religion to advance weird unacceptable ideology in Kenya that is causing unnecessary loss of life.

The head of state also called for the prosecution of any religious leaders who influence their followers against the tenets of the constitution of Kenya.

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Some leaders are said to advise their congregants against sending children to school or against accessing proper health services in hospitals.

As of Monday midday, 58 bodies had been retrieved from Shakahola forest while other followers of the Pastor Mackenzie church were found starving and on the brink of death.

Some of Pastor Mackenzie's controversial teachings include:-

  1. A belief that the Huduma Namba introduced during Uhuru Kenyatta's administration is the "mark of the beast, 666".
  2. After moving his operations from Migingo area in Malindi to the Shakahola Forest in 2019, he claimed that Jesus had spoken to him and told him that his work of end-time prophecy had been fulfilled and he could live a normal life as a farmer. He closed TV operations saying that Jesus had told him it would fail.
  3. Mackenzie teaches that the education system is evil. He has severally condemned the teaching of sex education under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) claiming that children in Kenyan schools are being taught homosexuality.
  4. Referring to a prophecy he made in December 2019, Mackenzie teaches that an economic downturn is the result of evil in the world and is a punishment from God.
  5. Mackenzie has agreed with the idea that one cannot conduct a religious fast in their own home, insisting that fasters must be gathered in one place for the fast to be successful. He favours the idea of locking up fasters so that they are not tempted to find food.
  6. The church leader believes that the law and faith are at war - that spiritual beliefs will never align with the laws of the land.

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