[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.