A Zimbabwean Christian who was trying to imitate Jesus and fast for 40 days in the wilderness has died.
Khulu Reinfirst Manyuka, a 73-year-old man, decided to follow in the footsteps of Christ and make a wilderness pilgrimage to fast and pray for 40 days.
After about a month, however, Manyuka’s body was found in the wilderness by a stranger who reported it to the police.
The police reported that the precise details of Manyuka’s death remain unclear, while a family member stated that Manyuka was strong and healthy for his age.
Local police also stated that they have seen deaths from fasting on multiple occasions, but said they “cannot stop the public from fasting.”
A close family member shared that Manyuka was a very spiritual man and his “faith could move mountains.” The family member added that “It’s unfortunate he had to die this way.”
Christian Today reports that scholars are divided over whether Jesus’ fast in the wilderness before beginning his earthly ministry was a literal 40-day fast or a symbolic one, and whether or not a fast means that Christ abstained completely from all food and drink.