Pastor Ezekiel Ombok Odero photo
Ezekiel Ombok Odero

His followers believe that Ezekiel Ombok Odero is a great spiritual leader who has the ability to treat HIV with "holy water."

His critics see him as nothing more than a cunning scam artist preying on Kenya's underprivileged.

Just a few days after discovering numerous corpses connected to another church, Kenyan police detained Odero on Thursday in connection with the "mass slaying of his adherents" and shut down his New Life Prayer Centre and Church.

Before entering the ministry 15 years ago, Odero languished in school and toiled as a commercial fisherman on a small island in Lake Victoria.

His church, located south of the seaside town of Malindi, can accommodate 40,000 people and has a guesthouse for believers "from across the globe." He is a rich televangelist who attracts sizable audiences.

He claimed to be the "chosen one" in a December interview with the NTV news station. "Various individuals throng my church since I am the chosen one," he said.

He is constructing a helipad, a restaurant, and an international school on his sizable church property.

In the coastal city of Mombasa, Odero worked for years as an assistant and keyboard player in the church of famed televangelist Pius Muiru, despite not having attended any theological school.

After advancing through the ranks, he eventually left to start his own church.

He told NTV, "I've been taught on the job."

He is well-known for his booming baritone voice and distinctive all-white attire, and he almost never leaves the house without a large Bible in his hand.

At his mega-rallies, Odero sold "holy" scraps of cloth and water for Ksh. 100 (75 cents US), with the claim that they could cure any illness, including HIV.

There is a caveat, though: These treatments only apply to those "with strong faith."

Nearly 450,000 people subscribe to his YouTube channel, which is replete with testimonials from Kenyans who say that Odero was able to cure them of everything from cancer through prayer to blindness.

Odero claims to have gone 20 years without getting sick or going to the doctor.

Despite portraying himself as a common man with no political ties, Odero has appeared on the podium with notable individuals.

They consist of Dorcas Gachagua, the pastor's wife of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who attended a service with him in December that drew 60,000 people to a Nairobi stadium.

The preacher was compelled to give the press a tour of his church last year and maintain that he had nothing to conceal as a result of his growing notoriety and soaring fortune, which attracted media attention.

Post a Comment

What is your say on this

Previous Post Next Post