By Erica Abbott
Reports that a Zimbabwean pastor was eaten by three crocodiles while trying to walk on water are false. The viral rumor that a pastor was killed while “trying to demonstrate a biblical miracle” in the Crocodile River was originally published on a satire website.
According to Snopes, the fake claim went viral after it was published by several disreputable news websites and tabloids. The article, which originated on the satire website National News Bulletin, claimed the pastor was killed after walking nearly 100 feet into the water and getting eaten by three crocodiles. It purported:
A pastor from a local church in White River Mpumalanga died this morning trying to demonstrate a biblical miracle to his congregants.
Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa of the ‘Saint of the last days church drowned into the crocodile River also know as the crocodile river and was seen by his church members getting eaten by 3 crocodiles.
“The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week. He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by 3 large crocodiles in front of us. We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.” said Deacon Nkosi, who is one of the church members.
The gruesome claim was easily debunked. The National News Bulletin’s three-word disclaimer clearly states that they publish satirical content: “Pure African Satire,” the simple disclaimer reads. There is no truth to the claim that a pastor was eaten by crocodiles in South Africa. A similar story circulated the internet last year, however, both are false.
Social Media Shares Fake Story about Pastor Getting Eaten by Crocodiles
— Big Sigh (@e1ais) May 13, 2017
Darwin Award! https://t.co/VurMU4GEWd
— Arthur van Amerongen (@DonArturito) May 13, 2017
Sometimes, you need to leave God’s work to God. https://t.co/noZrG0lIom
— Marcus Green (@MarcusInStroud) May 15, 2017
Seriously?? Why would you do that.
— Feisty Travel Guru (@FaisalShahim) May 12, 2017
The crocs prayers were answered.
— kaveri (@ikaveri) May 14, 2017
Did you see the fake story about a pastor getting eaten by crocodiles circulating social media? Do you know anyone who was fooled by the article? Sound off in the comments section below!