AIPCA church to sacrifice a sheep in cleansing after man's death at altar

AIPCA Church

An African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa in Kenol, Murang'a County where a man who was repairing the roof fell and died on July 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri I Nation Media Group

The ‘cleansing’ of an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa worship house in Kenol has started after a man died at its pulpit on Monday.

It will involve three days of prayers and fasting and the slaughter of a one-coloured sheep, with the church dedicated back to Christ with holy water and oil and the burning of incense.

Archbishop Fredrick Wang'ombe visited the church on Wednesday and declared three days of prayer and fasting until 9am on Saturday, when the cleansing will be done per the church's doctrines.

Welder Njoroge Muikamba, 28, was repairing the church's roof when he slipped and fell from his 35-foot perch and hit the concrete of the pulpit head first, dying instantly. He was said to have been under influence of alcohol.

Archbishop Wang'ombe said the death had distressed the AIPCA fraternity and warranted a special dedication to prayer and fasting in supplication.

He was with AIPCA general-secretary Kimaru Maina, who is also the chairman of the Kenol church.

Describing what the cleansing rituals will involve, Mr Maina said a church elder will slaughter the sheep outside the worship house and its blood will represent the pacifying of ‘the blemish of the human death in the church’.

"After the sheep's meat is cooked, it will be shared among priest leaders and members of the church as part of sealing the covenant of cleansing, the evil atoned," Mr Maina said.

Archbishop Wang'ombe will afterwards lead a high mass service-holy communion and declare the church free from any influence of the evil spirit.

To Israelites, cutting an animal’s throat, and watching its life drain from its body is a visceral symbol of the devastating results of sin and selfishness. 

The animal’s death is a physical symbol of the stakes of sin, manifested in the fear of death for the ones in search of atonement.

"The animal’s death acts as a symbolic substitute for pain and suffering to befall man. Since God loves his creation and does not want to kill them, the animal’s life is symbolically offered as a ransom payment that would cover them," Mr Maina explained.

The company that the deceased man was working for confirmed to Nation.Africa that its workers will also be part of the cleansing rituals.

Mr Josephat Mwangi, who owns God's Favour welding workshop in Kenol Town, said: "I am fully taking part in the cleansing process to also free my enterprise from the spirit of death".

He added that close family members of the deceased welder have also been mobilised to participate in the rituals.

"I have suspended the contractual work at the site. We will only resume after the cleansing has been done. It is not wise to disturb the spirit that is lurking there. After it is tamed and defeated, that is when we will resume work," he said.

He said earlier that he had prevailed upon the deceased man’s relatives to agree to a toxicology test on the body to ascertain whether he was intoxicated at the time of his death.

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