FACT CHECK: Images Showing Bloodied Church Are Not Recent

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, formerly Twitter, claims to show new images of a massacre in a Catholic church in Nigeria.

Verdict: False

The images are from 2022, not 2023.

Fact Check:

A local official said that 113 people were killed in attacks in central Nigeria, according to Reuters. Clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers are common, though other factors play a role in the conflict, the outlet reported.

Social media users are sharing images of a bloodied Catholic church, claiming it shows a massacre of Christians at Christmas. One user wrote, “Nigeria – New photos from within a church where at Christmas Christians were massacred in the name of Allah. Around 150 are confirmed dead so far, properties & farms were looted and burned. This is on par with what Hamas did, but the MSM & dancing Western Hamas fans ignore.”

This claim, however, is false. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image of the church is from a June 2022 attack in Nigeria. The image shows St. Francis Catholic Church in the aftermath of an attack that killed at least 40 people, according to Voice of America. At least four people were arrested for the attack, and Nigerian officials said that Islamic State West Africa Province, an Islamic militant group, carried it out.

The other image shows blood stains at St. Francis Catholic Church and is from the same attack. The image caption reads, “Blood stains the pavement of St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo Nigeria, Sunday, June 5, 2022.”  (RELATED: Does Video Show Two Palestinian Journalists Celebrating Missile Launching In Gaza?)

Check Your Fact could not verify whether or not a Catholic church was attacked on Christmas. No media outlets have reported an attack as of publishing time. A Nigerian Catholic seminarian was burned to death in September 2023 when his parish’s rectory was attacked, according to The Pillar.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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