The (alleged?) mass suicide of a religious community in Kenya, which received a lot of attention in the media, raises at least serious questions according to the first results of the investigation. But this incident served as a field of self-realization for some “experts” in relation to “extreme religious tendencies”.
Inhalt / Content
More than 110 people found dead
The death of more than 100 people in a forested area in Kenya due to “radical religious starvation” caused a major media outcry in early May. The focus was particularly on the leader of this supposed religious sect, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie. He was arrested shortly after a total of 112 dead people were found. According to relevant media reports, he convinced his followers to starve themselves to death in order to find the way to Jesus. He called his congregation “Good News International Church”.
Experts had answers ready immediately
Especially for the media of the big churches and the media, which are close to the big churches, this terrible event was an apparently welcome occasion to point out the dangers of “religious extremism”. The results of the announced examinations and autopsies were not waited for, because the background seemed to be clear. The first “experts” were quickly on hand for this, such as the Evangelical News Agency IDEA reported.
Evangelical “world viewer” knows it all
The theological consultant of the Evangelical Central Office for Questions about World Views (EZW), Pastor Martin Fritz from Berlin, had his say. The EZW is an institution of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Accordingly, the “mass suicide” in Kenya shows that radical religion can persuade people to give up their lives. Such “religious enthusiasm” could undermine humanity. According to the evangelical theologian, something like this can also be observed in the case of Islamic assassins, who are promised the way to heaven if they kill themselves and other people.
The expert certifies that the religious leader Mackenzie has a special charisma. He must have this because this leader “moved to something incredible” and they “incredibly” followed him. Group dynamics may also have played a decisive role, the pastor suspected. “If I see that others are involved, then it’s much more plausible to join in.” Following such extreme demands conveyed the feeling of belonging to an “exclusively religious group” that was promised “a very exclusive salvation.”
General phrases are also helpful
In the liberal religious magazine “jesus.de” it was emphasized that in Kenya almost anyone can found a church whoever suits them. There is no regulation in Kenya. Of the approximately 4,000 registered churches, some prophesy the approaching end of the world and make promises about a better life after death. For this, however, the “followers” of this religious community must show absolute obedience. The exuberant lifestyle of self-appointed pastors is often financed by very poor people.
Cause clear: “extremist” views
This would identify “extremism” within the religions as the cause of the deaths of over 100 people. However, without the context of the incident in Kenya, nobody seems to have guessed that the “exuberant lifestyle financed by poor people also applies to the so-called mega-churches in the USA and above all to the Church in Rome. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, absolute obedience would also have to be added to this, otherwise one risked over his own life for centuries.
The “expert” of the evangelical church did not exactly offer differentiated expertise, but also simply fixed himself on the extremism to be found within a religious community.
Surprising autopsy results
The reasons for the mass death of people were thus clear. As already mentioned above, without waiting for the investigation reports and the autopsies. The first results have now been published and put this terrible incident in a completely different light.
As a result, strangulation marks were found on numerous dead people. Others were diagnosed with asphyxiation as the cause of death. Some succumbed to their injuries after massive violence, i.e. beaten to death. It is particularly striking that the organs of some – now one must speak of victims rather than fanatical suicides – were removed. An organ removal only makes sense if the removed organs are removed in a physical living condition and immediately placed in appropriate cooling devices. This would be “subsequent scavenging” from.
Something always gets stuck
Without resorting to speculation about the findings, but after a consensual starvation to death it no longer looks like it. It remains to be seen whether there will be any further informative findings in the case of organ trafficking. But for so many theological “experts” this apparent connection with “religious extremism” came in very handy for the isolation of their own expertise. But something always gets stuck, and this particularly applies to the “extremely faithful” faith communities.