Pastor Suffers Multiple Organ Failure Attempting Jesus’ 40-Day Fast

A pastor in Mozambique, south-eastern Africa, recently passed away after suffering digestive organ failure attempting to emulate Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast.

It’s unclear why exactly 39-year-old Francisco Barajah, the founder of the Santa Trindade Evangelical Church, decided to imitate Christ’s 40-day fast in the desert as described in the Gospel of Matthew, but one thing is for sure – it was a fatal decision. 25 days into the grueling fast – no food or water – Barajah had become so weak that he couldn’t even stand, let alone move around or perform any menial tasks. Still, he insisted on going through with the Biblical fast, and by the time his family and followers finally decided to take him to a hospital, it was too late.

Photo: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Francisco Barajah reportedly died on the 38th day of his extreme fast, after being taken to a hospital in the city of Beira, close to the border with Zimbabwe. By this point, he had become unable to speak, and many of his followers said he was unrecognizable. At the hospital, the pastor was diagnosed with acute anemia and failure of his digestive organs.

Doctors tried rehydrating him with serums and getting him to consume liquid foods, but by this point, his digestive organs were too badly damaged, and the 39-year-old man passed away last Wednesday. His followers said that it was common for Barajah to fast, but he had never done it for nearly as long as this last attempt.


Although experts consider the extreme fast the main factor that caused the pastor’s organ failure, members of his family have been trying to pin the cause of death on preexisting health problems, like low blood pressure.

The BBC reports that Barajah’s death isn’t the only fatality caused by an attempt to emulate Jesus Christ‘s biblical fast. A woman died trying to go 40 days without food and water, and in 2015, a Zimbabwean man died after 30 days of fasting.

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