‘In the closet with the Lord’: 20-day fast cost Zambian pastor his life

‘In the closet with the Lord’: 20-day fast cost Zambian pastor his life September 12, 2019
Image via The Marabi Post

PASTOR Brighton Samajomba, of Heaven Is My Home church in Kazomba Township, Solwezi, was into the 20th day of a a 30-day fasting period when he died of malnutrition.

His brother, Reagan Samajomba, who confirmed the pastor’s death, said his wife found him dead in the early hours September 5.

He said:

The only consolation that we have as a family is the way he died because he was in the closet with the Lord.

The dead pastor is said to be known for fasting for as long as 90 days and eating a single meal in the evenings of August of every year.


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  • Vanity Unfair

    There are all sorts of cynical comments that spring to mind but, ignoring them, at the forefront are the people who task me, and probably many of the readers here, with the question,”But what have you got against religion; what harm does it do to believe?”

  • Matt G

    The Lord couldn’t slip outside and get him a sandwich?

  • Jim Jones

    > The dead pastor is said to be known for fasting for as long as 90 days.

    He deluded himself into thinking he could do it for realz? 3 weeks is about the limit for hunger.

  • Jim Jones

    Shoulda gone to Subway.

  • Michael Neville

    We’re missing an important detail. Why did Samajomba feel the need for prolonged fasting?

  • barriejohn

    I knew Christians who were very keen on “prayer and fasting”. You have to ask what sort of a god they were worshipping if he was so averse to their welfare and happiness that in order to twist his arm and extract some sort of favour from him they felt that they needed to punish themselves. Was he looking on and saying, “No, not enough pain yet. A bit more suffering and I may give you what you want.” Self-flagellation is even worse, but many Christians (including popes!) practise it even today.

  • Religion.

  • His eating only in the evenings in August sounds like a take on Ramadan fasting.

  • Broga

    Seemed a good idea at the time?

  • gedediah

    Fasting gives you a natural high, like excercising. Easily confused with the holy spirit or whatever. And it’s addictive. Poor man let his habit get out of hand.

  • jh

    technically, you can go for longer. There are people who have done it for far longer. What they do need to do is get their doctor to sign off on it and get their vitamins and minerals and hydration. If you are a larger person, you could easily do a 90 day fast. You do need to keep hydrated. That’s the big thing.

    Oh.. and by day 3, you tend to forget because most of the time, the sensation of hunger is a pavlovian response to times of the day. I’ve never done a 90 day fast. But I have done 3 to 5+ day fast and it was difficult at first but remarkably freeing by the end. The only reason I broke that fast was because I had set a time limit. (It’s a good way for someone like me so that I don’t go overboard.)

    I was interested in the effects of fasting on the human body. I was interested in promoting the body’s natural “clean up” mode.

  • barriejohn
  • Charlie DeLuca

    i’m thinking a 30-day pizza only regimen might have been equally uncomfortable, spiritually cleansing and less lethal

  • I knew a man in one of the churches I attended as a teenager, he used to fast as long as 120 days. He would take fruit juice as his only nutrition, and the fruit juice only once a day. He believed that by fasting and praying he would become closer to an invisible deity. His was a belief that made room for very insane fasting. When he would embark on these fasts, he would separate himself from his wife, family, friends, business, and he would attend any and all church services and never go home, he even showered at the church.

    He would do 2 or 3 fasts a year, this led to many tense moments in his family, between he and his wife, and his son had to take over his father’s business. It was the only Volkswagen salvage yard in South Florida. This man had a wild look in his eyes, and when he preached he was even wilder. This continual fasting made him subject to many diseases, because he didn’t have any nutritional reserves and had no immune system to speak of. Fasting has many ill effects on the human body, one of the worst is the drain on the immune system!

    This fasting triggered in Pastor Samajomba a likely heart attack, or he contracted a viral disease akin to a fast acting diarrhea or a similar disease that his body couldn’t fight off. I don’t feel sorry for him, he brought this on himself. He should have known better better but as in cases similar to this, people who do such things count on their invisible deity to make the consequences lessen or go away. I feel sorry for his family.

  • ManxStuart

    “In the closet with the Lord”, eh?
    Well, it’s nice to see evangelicals have something in common with most of the Vatican.

  • Edison Carter

    HIs Wife – “He’s in the closet with God”
    Archer – “Phrasing!’
    https://media3.giphy.com/media/BmX38GoChnxRe/giphy.gif

  • If you’re that into your belief, fasting is almost mandatory. The longer you fast, the holier you get. and if you get holy enough, you die. Seems like a waste of a human being, but it was his choice, I suppose.

  • Freethinker