Many people are sharing a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Church claiming that he went to church on Christmas.
The photo is viral on social media in the backdrop of a recent remark of Bajrang Dal on Hindus visiting churches on Christmas day celebrations. On December 5, 2020, Mithu Nath, General-Secretary of Bajrang Dal Cachar district unit, Assam, said that Hindus visiting a church on Christmas will be beaten brutally. One thing to note here is that Bajrang Dal is a member of the RSS family of organisations; BJP is the political progeny of the same RSS family.
The photo is being shared online with different captions. A Twitter user, Bhavya Narasimhamurthy shared the image with the caption, "Someone tag Bajrangdal to this picture. This man is visiting church on Christmas. How dare he?". This tweet has been retweeted over 700 times at the time of reporting.
Another Twitter user, Kisan also tweeted the image with the caption, "हिन्दू युवा वाहिनी , करणी सेना , बजरंग दल को chidhaaney ke liye Christmas day k din church pahuch gye" (which translates in English as, " To tease Hindu Yuva Vahini, Karni Sena, Bajrang Dal, Modi reached church on Christmas Day.")
Many people on Facebook are sharing the screenshot of a Tweet that has the image of PM Modi in Church and said, "'Andhbhakton ke Santa Claus' visiting church today."
The viral image is of PM Narendra Modi visiting the church during Christmas.
On doing Google reverse image search of the viral photo, we found the same photo was published by The Times Of India on June 9, 2019. The image was shared with the caption, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited St Anthony's Church in Colombo." The Times of India article was a report on PM Modi's visit to Sri Lanka to pay tributes to the victims of Easter Sunday Attacks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also tweeted about his visit to Sri Lanka with the caption, "I am confident Sri Lanka will rise again. Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka."
Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs had tweeted the image and informed about Prime Minister's visit to Sri Lanka's Saint Anthony Church, Colombo.
"In 2019, nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa, and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists in Sri Lanka. The Islamic State has claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings," as reported by PTI. In the backdrop to this attack, PM Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to the St Anthony's church, one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday attacks and pledged India's solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, as he paid tributes to the victims of the deadly terror strikes that killed 258 people, including 11 Indians.
While PM Modi tweeted and wished Christmas, we did not find any media reports of him visiting a church this year.
Hence, an old image is being shared with the fake claim of PM Modi visiting a church on Christmas.
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