CHURCHES BURNED DOWN AND CHRISTIANS TARGETED IN INDIA?
The following message is circulating on social media: “Brothers and sisters, urgent prayer request. Pray for the Church in India. Buddhist extremists in India burned down 20 churches last night. Tonight want to destroy more than 200 churches in Olisabang province. They want to kill 200 missionaries within the next 24 hours. All Christians are hiding in villages.”
ANC WAR HOAX
There is currently a video doing the rounds on social media containing unsubstantiated reports that the ANC (African National Congress) is preparing for war. South Africans are warned to stock up with supplies as the nation is potentially facing a “STATE OF EMERGENCY”. They are also told that the ANC, “in fear of losing the May elections, is emptying all its funds in preparation for war”.
CHRISTIANS FALSELY ENCOURAGED TO BOYCOTT McDONALDS
There are some messages on social media encouraging Christians to boycott McDonalds because of a sculpture by Finnish artist Jani Leinonen, featuring a crucified Ronald McDonald (McDonald’s mascot). Even though the sculpture is real, the truth is that McDonalds did not initiate or endorse this sculpture.
TERRIFYING NEW PERSECUTION LAW IN RUSSIA?
Some email and WhatsApp messages are reporting that “7,000 Churches [are] Fasting, Praying over Terrifying New Persecution Law”. While there is some truth to the message (Russia did implement new laws in 2016), the information is out of date and does not convey the full picture of the situation.
NORTH KOREA OPENS ITS DOORS TO CHRISTIANITY?
There is a message which is being circulated which states that North Korea has opened its doors to Christianity. At INcontext International, we are currently unable to find any verifiable reports about North Korea opening to Christianity, so while there does appear to be positive developments happening on the Korean Peninsula, we view this report as a misrepresentation and misinterpretation of facts.
22 CHRISTIANS TO BE EXECUTED IN AFGHANISTAN?
There is an sms or WhatsApp message regularly sent out in various parts of the world, which often resurfaces. The message has two standard forms:
1) that 22 Christian families have been abducted in Afghanistan and are about to be executed
2) that 22 Christians are about to be beheaded in Afghanistan
URGENT CALL FOR PRAYER FOR QUERAGOSH
Two messages regarding threats against Christians in Iraq are regularly circulating Christian networks, via email, WhatsApp and other social media. Even though the emails can be traced back to legitimate sources, the information is old and the situation has changed since the email was first sent out.
INcontext International is sometimes asked to verify or comment on news stories, rumours, events or new movements. As these come to our attention, we do as much research as we can and try to ‘set the record straight’.
With a number of hoaxes and false news reports infiltrating the Christian media from time to time, Christians need to be less vulnerable and more discerning before passing any news on. Simply forwarding sensational news or incorrect information often brings negative results.
If you have anything you would like to have verified (a forwarded email, a news report or a text message) please email your question to Andrew Richards.
Click on the link below for guidelines for independent verification research.
ARMS SEIZED EN ROUTE TO REFUGEE CAMPS?
“GAY JESUS” FILM TO BE MADE?
BLOOD MOONS PROPHECY: REVELATION OR SPECULATION?
AN ISLAMIC USA, ONE CHURCH AT A TIME?
VIDEO EVIDENCE OF EUROPE INVASION?
POPE TO IMPLEMENT NEW WORLD ORDER?
The following email is doing the rounds:
This “furniture shipment” was supposed to go to the refugee camps in Geece to make their life more bearable and ease their hardships. 52 tons of guns and ammunition in big 40’ double containers followed the migrants to Europe, pretending to be furniture…
Emails similar to this one have been doing the rounds for a number of years: “The movie ‘Corpus Christi’ is due to be released this June to August. It is a disgusting film set to appear in America later this year which depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals.”
The “Blood Moons” theory is a ‘prophecy’ that the four ‘blood moons’ (or tetrad) occurring on Jewish festival days (Passover and Sukkot) are a sign of something significant about to happen to Israel, as well as a sign of the end times.
An email circulating Christian networks calls for “action if we value our way of life” with an alarming message that Muslims are building “an Islamic State in America, one church at a time”. The email reads as follows: “CHURCHES NO MORE – THEY ARE BUILDING AN ISLAMIC STATE IN AMERICA, ONE CHURCH AT A TIME.”
In November 2015, a number of websites published a video that supposedly showed Muslim refugees committing various acts of violence, under the title “This Is The Most Disturbing Muslim ‘Refugee’ Video You Will Ever See”. Email messages soon surfaced with warnings of the invasion of Europe.
An email reports the following: “EMERGENCY BULLETIN! The New World Order Will Be Implemented September 25th! The New World Currency Will Be Introduced October 20th! We Are At the Brink of Total Worldwide Financial Collapse!“