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.”
UN DECLARES THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AN ENEMY
A WhatsApp message is currently doing the rounds, which claims that the United Nations (UN) has declared the Christian Church an enemy. The message, sent without a name, has a link attached to it titled: Use of religious beliefs to justify rights violations must be outlawed says UN expert, but the link that accompanies the message is completely irrelevant as it contains none of the claims made by the author of the message.
THE POPE SAID WHAT? CIVIL UNIONS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES
On 21 October, a new documentary film, Francesco, was released about the life and teachings of Pope Francis. The film is centred around contemporary issues and the role of the Catholic Church in reaching out to those who suffer injustice. But it was a comment he made regarding same-sex civil unions that was picked up by news agencies worldwide and which also got Christians talking. What did he say, and what is the Catholic Church’s official stance? Find out more.
INFODEMIC: A Christian response to the “Plandemic” film, and other conspiracy theories
With all the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and the multitude of opinions being expressed by anybody with access to the internet, there is no doubt that “Plandemic” will not be the last film produced by “experts” predicting a bleak and dark future. It, therefore, becomes futile to address every video on its own merits, and thus get caught up in the time-consuming exercise of jumping from one conspiracy to another. It, therefore, becomes important that Christians approach these types of videos with “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:6-16) and not simply an emotional response.
BILL GATES-CORONAVIRUS ‘END TIMES’ CONSPIRACY
At INcontext we have not seen a single event give birth to so many conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and fake news as we have seen with the coronavirus. In the times we live in – with social media flourishing as the main medium for spreading fake news, conspiracy theories, and hoaxes – we always need to be on our guard. Jesus warned us that there will be many false prophets who will deceive many people (Matt 24:11).
COVID-19 and 5G: BIGGEST COVER-UP IN HISTORY?
An audio clip is currently doing the rounds – featuring an eloquent and convincing message by “Pastor Jonathan” – which makes sweeping claims regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and 5G technology. Due to the urgency of the global pandemic, the seriousness of the claims, the vulnerability created by the unknown and the platform it creates for conspiracy theorists to penetrate the hearts of well-meaning believers, it was imperative that these claims be addressed.
TEMPERATURES OF 62°C IN KUWAIT?
A message is currently doing the rounds on social media – supported by a number of pictures – that temperatures of 62°C in Kuwait has caused trees to burst into flames, traffic lights to melt and cars to dissolve. Christian sources added to the original message, linking it to Revelation 16:8-9, attributing this phenomenon to the fact that we are in the ‘end-times’ before the return of Christ.
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.
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!“