South African pastor dies trying to emulate Jesus' 40-day fast in the wilderness

A South African pastor died of malnutrition trying to emulate Jesus Christ's 40 days and 40 nights of fasting in the wilderness.

On June 17, Pastor Alfred Ndlovu embarked on a spiritual journey in the wilderness. While he was aiming to fast for 40 days and 40 nights just like Jesus did, the 44-year-old pastor died of malnutrition after going 30 days without food and water, Buzz South Africa relays.

(Reuters/Adrees Latif)Worshippers take part in a prayer tribute for former South African President Nelson Mandela at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in the Meadowlands neighborhood of Soweto, Johannesburg, December 8, 2013.

A stranger discovered Pastor Ndlovu's body in the wilderness and reported the incident to the police. The authorities, in turn, informed the minister's family and congregation about his death.

Pastor Ndlovu's death shocked his family and community. They described him as a healthy and religious man who had a very strong faith.

The incident is reminiscent of the death of the "Jesus of Zimbabwe" last year after he attempted to achieve the same feat that Jesus did. Khulu Reinfirst Manyuka, 73, left his home on June 15, 2015 to direct his attention to prayer and away from earthly things, Tuale Naija reported last year.

Manyuka's date of death was unknown because nobody was with him when he passed away in the wilderness. Police say he is not the only one who died from fasting as they have also received reports about numerous similar cases. Unfortunately, a police spokesperson said they cannot prevent it from happening again because they cannot stop people from fasting.

The New Testament contains several passages referring to Jesus' fasting period in the wilderness after John the Baptist baptized him. According to the passages, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil three times, Christian Today details.

The Bible says Jesus refused to give in to the Devil's temptations and remained committed to God's will. Moses and Elijah are among the other Biblical figures who fasted and prayed for long periods in the desert.