Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Pastor NOT Eaten By Crocodiles While Trying To Walk On Water Like Jesus

  • by: Ryan Cooper
  • (Wed, 22 Jan 2020 01:51:34 Z)

Did a pastor get eaten by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus? No, that's not true: The story is a work of satire, but it has been making the rounds online for almost three years.

The latest claim being shared came from an article published by the Nigerian Daily Post on May 13, 2017, titled "Pastor eaten by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus - Daily Post Nigeria" (archived here). It opened:

A pastor who tried replicating the Biblical story of Jesus Christ walking on water has been eaten by crocodiles.

The pastor, identified as Jonathan Mthethwa, of the Saint of the Last Days Church, tried the demonstration at a river known as Crocodile River.

Mthethwa, from a local church in White River Mpumalanga died Saturday morning trying to demonstrate the biblical miracle to his congregants.

According to The Herald Zimbabwe, he drowned into the Crocodile River and was seen by his church members getting eaten by 3 crocodiles.

Screenshot of https://dailypost.ng/2017/05/13/pastor-eaten-crocodiles-trying-walk-water-like-jesus/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Pastor eaten by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus - Daily Post Nigeria

A pastor who tried replicating the Biblical story of Jesus Christ walking on water has been eaten by crocodiles. The pastor, identified as Jonathan

Over the years, the post has been revised or republished word-for-word, a technique known as "article spinning." It is a completely fabricated tale, however. There are no credible reports of a Zimbabwean pastor attempting to emulate Jesus by carrying out the Biblical miracle of walking on water.

Before this story was published, a different website, National News Bulletin, made the original claim. The site is no longer available, though the Internet Archive Wayback Machine captured an image from it on February 24, 2017. At the bottom of the story is this line:

Pure African Satire.

As is so often the case, other websites have copied the story, but they dropped any reference to the article being satirical and presented it as real news.

On May 14, 2017, The Daily Mail published an article exposing "the truth behind the story that swept the Internet." The report detailed how the mainstream newspaper, The Nigerian Daily Post, gave the story worldwide attention, even though it was untrue. However, it wrongly attributed the story to the Zimbabwe Herald, which never ran the story.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?


Click this link to copy it to your clipboard
Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.

About the author:

Ryan Cooper.jpeg

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

You can also follow us here:


Most read

Recent

Like or Follow us to get the latest!

NEW! Subscribe to our YouTube channel: