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Fact-Check: News Clip About 6% GST on Church Offertory Money in UP Is Fake

The newspaper clipping was morphed to include a fake article about a six percent tax on offertory money in churches.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
Fact-Check: News Clip About 6% GST on Church Offertory Money in UP Is Fake
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A screenshot of a newspaper clipping, purportedly showing an article by The Times of India, is being shared on social media mentioning that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) has introduced a six percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on offerings given to churches during Sunday mass. 

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(More archives of this post can be found here. The Quint also received a query for this post’s verification on its WhatsApp tipline.)

But the fact is: The headline is fake. We found a full-page version of this viral photo, and noticed that the headline was edited. The original edition, published on 11 January 2010 predates the introduction of the GST by seven years.

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How do we know?: Using relevant keywords, we looked for news reports on the UP government and taxes on religious institutions, but did not come across any article about churches being taxed for Sunday mass offerings.

  • Next, we looked for social media posts regarding the claim. Here, we came across a full-page version of the viral screenshot, which showed other headlines as well.

  • The headline discusses GST for Uttar Pradesh churches, but it carries a photograph of HD Deve Gowda, who has been the prime minister and is a politician from Karnataka.

  • The font of the headline in the claim does not match the rest of the paper.

We found a full page version of the claim.

(Source: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

A look at the other headlines: We saw other headlines regarding kidnappings and the late Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav as well. On looking them up, we were led to The Times of India articles published on 11 January 2010.

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Both articles were published in 2010.</p></div>

    Both articles were published in 2010.

    (Source: The Times of India/Altered by The Quint)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Both articles were published in 2010.</p></div>

    Both articles were published in 2010.

    (Source: The Times of India/Altered by The Quint)

  • We looked for all the articles from the day in the newspaper’s archives, but did not find anything related to GST being implemented in UP.

  • On top, we saw a photo of cricketer Zaheer Khan and text discussing the Indian cricket team’s performance at Bangladesh’s Dhaka, during a tri-series match, which was held in 2010.

  • Moreover, Zaheer Khan announced his retirement from cricket in 2015.

Khan retired in 2015.

(Source: Twitter/Altered by The Quint)

The newspaper clipping being shared in the claim is from 2010, which predates the introduction of GST by at least seven years.

Conclusion: Evidently, a morphed screenshot of The Times of India newspaper clipping is being shared with a false claim that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh introduced six percent GST on offerings made during Sunday mass in churches in the state.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and webqoof

Topics:  Fact Check   GST rate   Webqoof 

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