In front of his congregation members

In front of his congregation members

Pastor in Kenya kills himself and wife during church service © Cristian Gennari (CBA)

A pastor of a Kenyan free church killed first his wife and then himself during a church service. A dispute over the leadership and direction of the free church may have been the reason.

The incident occurred during a church service in the port city of Mombasa, local media reported (Monday). According to the report, the 55-year-old waited for the service to begin before attacking his wife at the altar with two knives. While believers cared for the injured, the man had slit his own throat.

Rapid growth for the movement

Motive for the tragedy is likely to have been a dispute over the leadership of the free church. He says the pastor founded it eight years ago with his wife; the movement has seen rapid growth. Most recently, the founders would have argued about the direction of the church. Attempts at mediation by other Christian churches have been unsuccessful, they say.

Government regulation of faith sector has been discussed in Kenya for some time. Politicians advocated laws requiring every clergyman to complete a degree, churches to be taxed, and the establishment of new churches to be made more difficult. Background is growing commercialization of religion in several African states.

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