SEPTEMBER 20, 1996

Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Investigators have found evidence of devil worship in Kenya, including human sacrifice, cannibalism, Black Mass celebrations and child kidnappings. A government commission appointed two years ago by President Daniel arap Moi to investigate allegations of devil worship found "ample corroborative evidence of its existence," a two-page statement said Friday.

The commission uncovered "horrifying criminal cases," including the kidnapping of children, child abuse, murders and the severing of body parts such as tongues, eyes and limbs, it said.

The statement did not say whether any arrests had been made, or how widespread the devil worship was.

The commission's report was not made public, but the government's statement comes at a time of increased political activity and tensions ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections, which must be held by the end of 1997.

The commission's findings were based on testimony from former and practicing cult members, and were confirmed by independent sources, the statement said.

It said rituals involving sexual abuse and rape -- especially of children -- black magic, and the use of narcotic drugs and snakes were used in the devil worship. Cult members also used swastikas, upside down pentagrams with a goat-head, the human skull and the figure 666 in their rituals, it said.

The government called on Kenyans to desist "abetting or getting involved in devil worship, which is in its formative stage in the country."