As Lent season is observed by millions of Christians worldwide, culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to biblical teachings, Kenyans are left to ponder whether Eliud Simiyu, the self-proclaimed Jesus of Tongaren from Bungoma, will align with the scriptures.
As per the Bible, Jesus Christ faced immense suffering during his arrest by the Pharisees, and this culminated in what is known as the Passion of Christ, which included his crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven.
An online user has made a sensational claim that Jesus of Tongeren has expressed concern about his safety as the Easter season approaches.
According to a post by a netizen, Yesu, who is currently in Bungoma, alleges that his life is at risk as Easter approaches. Some locals have reportedly been overheard suggesting that he should be crucified during the Easter period, similar to how Jesus was crucified.
However, they have also assured Yesu that if he is indeed the Messiah, he will rise from the dead on the third day and ascend to heaven, so there is no need for him to worry.
The post elicited some humorous remarks on the internet.
“Have the residents identified the two thieves yet? It has to be real you know,” a Twitter user.
“Surely we must test his faith like the way Jesus Christ was tested,” another one commented.
The New Jerusalem sect, which is based in Lukhokwe village in Tongaren Constituency, is led and founded by Mr Simiyu.
He asserts that he is the authentic Jesus of the Bible and possesses the ability to carry out miracles.
The church members are prohibited from using their given names and instead referred to as angels or prophets (ess).
Born in 1981, Mr Simiyu’s parents, Francis and Cecilia Simiyu, passed away during his childhood. He was raised Catholic and received his primary education at Mukuyu Primary School in Tongaren, Bungoma County.
After completing Form One at Mukuyu Secondary School, he discontinued his education and pursued farming instead.
In 2001, at the age of 20, he got married and now has eight children. His eldest son is currently studying at a technical college in Kiambu County, while his second child, a daughter, is set to join university.
According to his neighbours, in 2009, Mr Simiyu was struck in the head during a family dispute and taken to the hospital for treatment. Following his release from the hospital, he began preaching.
Bungoma ‘Jesus’ claims he turned water into tea
But he started asserting himself to be the Jesus, ‘demonstrating’ miraculous abilities ever since he announced himself as a divine being.
During an interview with NTV, the wife of the man asserted that her husband converted water into a copious amount of tea that was savoured by the villagers, and some even took some home.
The woman had asserted that her family was ostracised in the village due to her husband’s claims that he is Jesus. His wife, identified as Prophet Benjamin, had previously claimed that her husband has the power to heal the sick and perform other miracles.