Home Christian News Pastor Dies Attempting 40-Day Fast Modeled After Jesus’ Wilderness Temptation

Pastor Dies Attempting 40-Day Fast Modeled After Jesus’ Wilderness Temptation

Francisco Barajah dies attempting 40 day fast
Artistic depiction of Jesus' wilderness temptation (Ary Scheffer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

A 39-year-old Mozambican pastor has tragically died after attempting to go without food or water for 40 days in the hopes of following the model set by Jesus Christ’s time in the wilderness as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13

Francisco Barajah, who was pastor of Santa Trindade Evangelical Church in the city of Chimoio in Mozambique, perished after 25 days of self-deprivation.

After going without food or water for well over three weeks, Barajah developed a case of acute anemia, which is characterized by an abrupt drop in red blood cells, according to Mozambique new outlet Noticias Online.

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Barajah had grown so weak that he could no longer stand or bathe himself and was taken to the hospital at the insistence of those close to him. 

While at the hospital, doctors attempted to rehydrate the pastor, but his digestive system had so badly deteriorated that attempts to nourish him were unsuccessful. Barajah reportedly experienced pain when attempting to intake any food. 

Though the New Testament records that Jesus fasted for a period of 40 days while he was tempted by Satan in the Judean wilderness, it does not specify that Jesus abstained from drinking water. 

Dehydration in combination with starvation likely dealt the fatal blow to Barajah, who in addition to serving as a pastor was a French teacher at a secondary school.

Neighbors, though dismayed, did not reportedly express surprise at the news of Barajah’s death. They had previously expressed concern for the pastor after seeing that he had dropped an alarming amount of weight. 

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Barajah died in the hospital earlier this week.