[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

PNG cult leader 'Black Jesus' killed by mob

Steven Tari, ex-Lutheran pastor, killed along with his followers for attacking woman months after escaping jail.

Last Modified: 31 Aug 2013 12:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

An infamous cult leader known as "Black Jesus", who was suspected of cannibalism, has been chopped to death in a remote Papua New Guinea village, reports said.

Steven Tari, a convicted rapist, had been on the run since escaping from a prison in Madang in the Pacific nation's east during a mass break-out with 48 others in March this year.

Sylvester Kalaut, the Madang police chief, said on Friday that Tari and one of his followers were killed at a village about 20km outside Madang on Thursday as they were attacking a young woman.

"He is now dead and this could be the fate of the others who are also on the run from authorities and I am warning and strongly urging those escapees to surrender themselves to authorities," Kalaut told the PNG Post-Courier.

Tari, a failed Lutheran pastor who was widely known as Black Jesus, was found guilty in 2010 of raping girls who belonged to his Christian-based sect and sentenced to up to 10 years.

At the time, he had thousands of village followers, including a core of armed warriors to protect him, in what is commonly referred to in PNG as a "cargo cult".

As part of his "culture ministry", he preached that young girls were to be "married" to him as it was God's prophecy.

Kalaut said the woman Tari was in the process of attacking was "a flower girl tricked into joining the cult", adding that angry villagers had surrounded him and his companion and killed them.

His death follows that of a young high-school girl about a week ago, a murder alleged to have been carried out by Tari.

When he was captured in 2007, there were widespread allegations that his cult also practised cannibalism and sacrificial blood rituals, but police only charged him with rape.

PNG is a sprawling nation where black magic, sorcery and cannibalism sometimes occur.

Last year, police arrested dozens of people linked to an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises.

346

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.