Fact check: Photos show protesters in Colombia, not Christians in Afghanistan

·3 min read

The claim: Images show Christians in plastic bags in Afghanistan

Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, misinformation about their persecution of Christians has circulated on social media.

USA TODAY debunked false claims that men were publicly shamed for practicing their faith and that the Taliban had sentenced 229 Christian missionaries to death. Now, a photo claims to show Christians in body bags.

"Christians in Afghanistan tied up in nylon to die slowly because they refused to deny Jesus," reads the caption of a Sept. 12 post. The post, which accumulated more than 400 shares within six days, features four images of bodies in clear, plastic bags.

The Taliban have been known to persecute and kill Christians. Afghanistan is the second-worst country for those who practice the faith, according to Open Doors, a Christian charity based in the United Kingdom.

Fact check roundup: What’s true and what’s false about the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

But the photos in the Facebook post don't show Christians in body bags. They were taken during a demonstration in Colombia.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.

Photos show demonstration in Colombia

The images in the Facebook post stem from a May protest in Medellín, Colombia.

A YouTube video uploaded May 26 shows the performance. The description of the video, translated from Spanish to English, says the demonstration was held in Medellín's Poblado Park as part of a national strike.

Fact check: Viral image of Taliban punishment tied to theft, not Christian faith

"A tribute to the people who have been found dead in recent days, drowned, in pieces and in bags," reads the description, according to Google Translate. "In honor of all those who left their homes to fight for their rights and could not return home."

Protests in Colombia started April 28 when people took to the streets to oppose a tax reform proposal, Reuters reported. By late May, Human Rights Watch put the death toll from the anti-government protests at 63, according to Al Jazeera.

In its fact check about the Facebook post, the Agence France-Presse found an image on Instagram that appears to show the demonstration in Medellín.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that images show Christians in plastic bags in Afghanistan. The images are from May and show an anti-government protest in Colombia.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Photos don't show Christians in body bags in Afghanistan

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