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An image that pretends to show a couple doing “love in the church in front of everyone“to alleviate their infertility have rounded up social networks in several French-speaking African countries. Warning: according to the Brazilian parish where the facts took place, it is a ritual, a” prophetic act “of biblical inspiration, performed here by a nun to heal a sick woman.
“They love in church in front of everyone because they have not had children yet for years of marriage“, Say several Internet users by sharing the image of two people lying on top of each other, wrapped in a red sheet.
Around them several worshipers raise their hands to heaven, and a man – perhaps “pastor“mentioned by publications – leans the head of the woman lying upstairs.
This rumor has been shared more than 6,000 times since May 27 in West and Central Africa (1, 2, 3 …).
A “prophetic act”
Attention, this is a scam: this picture does not show the desperate attempts of an infertile couple, but from a ritual – a “prophetic action“, according to the church where the facts took place aimed at helping a sick woman during a sermon.
A reverse image search on the Google search engine reveals that this rumor has been picked up by many Spanish-speaking sites (1, 2); some, like the Mexican daily El Manana de Nuevo Laredoeven quoting the church where the facts would have happened.
Towards the end of this article, however, mention is made of a Facebook post that this parish posted on May 25, Alianc Restaurada, located in Belém in northern Brazil. Church members dispute the version given by the publications we check.
In a video accompanying this denial, a woman presenting herself as a “bishop“named Thais explain that during a mass,”Pastor Domingas, from Bagre, ill for several days“, found himself ill.”God guided Pastor Icaro, who performed a prophetic act“, She continues in this video.
This is how the priest would have asked a deaconess – in Protestantism, a nun who “living together and devoting themselves to charitable activities“- of”lie on it to perform this prophetic act“. We recognize the pastor (1), the deaconess (2) and the sick woman (3) in the screenshot at the bottom right taken from the video directly on the church page on May 18 (from 1’18’45).
We also see the same red plates as well as the same platform and the same tiles in the background.
Already two days before the publication of this clarification, on 23 MayAlianc Restaurada had always denied on Facebook the rumors circulating on social networks, explaining that it was “not a couple“but of a”sick woman“, and”the prophetic act“captured by this viral photograph”was inspired by the two kings“.
The church here refers to the Second Book of Kings, a book in the Old Testament in which the Prophet Elisha revives the son of a woman living in Shunem – called “Shunammit“- expands him. Here is the text to which”the prophetic act“from the Brazilian priest refers to:
A story confirmed by the woman in question – Pastor Domingas – as well as her daughter, at the end of the video posted by the parish on May 25 on Facebook, according to the translation obtained by AFP. They are also seen at the end of the same video with Deaconess Sandra – the blonde woman who stretches beyond her in the viral image.
This fake news was also confirmed in early June by the Congolese verification media CongoCheck.