Catholic Bishop in Kenya Cautions against “faith in human beings” at the Expense of Christ

Bishop Cleophas Oseso Tuka during the consecration Mass on 9 June 2023. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Nakuru

The Catholic Bishop of Nakuru Diocese in Kenya has cautioned against the temptation to put one’s “faith in human beings” at the expense of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bishop Cleophas Oseso Tuka who was presiding over the consecration of a Parish church in his Episcopal See attributed the massacre at Shakahola Forest in the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi, Kilifi County, where one, “pastor” Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, allegedly convinced his followers that starving themselves to death would hasten their departure from this life in order to “meet Jesus”, to the tendency to “follow anything blindly”.

At least 250 bodies have so far been exhumed from mass graves in Shakahola Forest in what has been described as “a Kenyan starvation cult” linked to Mr. Mackenzie, the preacher who was earlier linked to children’s death.

“Many people forget to root their faith in Christ. Instead, they put their faith in human beings. God does not need a human sacrifice. The death of his son Jesus Christ, on the cross, was enough. Christ offered a true sacrifice for us on the cross,” Bishop Oseso said in his homily during the Friday, June 9 consecration of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Kaptisogon Kituro Parish of Nakuru Diocese.

He emphasized, “Our faith must be in Christ. If we are rooted in Christ, we cannot go wrong. If we follow people, we will get lost. There are those whose aim is to be wealthy, famous, and prosperous but not to lead people to Christ.”


The Kenyan Catholic Bishop encouraged the use of the faculty of reason and critical thinking, saying, “We should not follow anything blindly. We need to question. The word of God has parables so we should be able to reflect deeply about it.” 

He explained, “We live in a time when many people are after the gospel of prosperity. Many people seek religions and churches because of the wealth they seek to gain in life. Many have taken this as an opportunity to sway people away from the true teachings of Christ.” 

“Some people go to other churches where they are forced to harm themselves in the name of worshiping God,” Bishop Oseso said, adding that the Shakahola Forest tragedy is an example of how people can be fooled. 

The Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry last month also advocated for apostolate targeting young people “leaving the Church”, who he said have been sidelined.

“We need to look out for our young people who are leaving the Church and seeking worldly things. We have neglected them. They will perish if we do not look for them and bring them back to the house of God. let us help them to come back to the way of faith,” Bishop Oseso said during the June 9 church consecration Mass.

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.