Fake News: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau NOT Converting from Christianity to Islam

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau NOT Converting from Christianity to Islam

Did Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convert from Christianity to Islam? No, that's not true: the story was put out several years ago by a satirical website as a joke but keeps being circulated on Facebook via various pages and groups even today.

The story originated from an article (archived here) on Vatican Enquirer where it was published on August 28, 2016 under the title "Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Converting from Christianity to Islam". It opened:

THE VATICAN ENQUIRER - Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, also dubbed as "Canada's Obama", announced he is converting from Christianity to Islam.

In a 13 minute press conference Friday, Trudeau explained his decision in his life:
"After meeting thousands of new Syrian refugees, listening to their stories and learning more about the Muslim faith, I have learned to love Islam and the people of Islam. Islam promotes peace, not violence and is in fact more peaceful that Christianity. I feel like this is the religion I belong with and I should identify as," reported the theglobalsun.com

There is no news website named "theglobalsun.com" (it seems the domain name is currently for sale). Trudeau has repeatedly stated in media interviews that he is a Catholic, for example in this CBC story:

"For someone to start questioning my own faith and accusing me of being a bad Catholic, is something that I really take issue with. My own personal faith is an extremely important part of who I am and the values that I try to lead with."

Trudeau added that neither he nor his father saw any incongruity between enshrining the rights of gays and lesbians, for example, and the tenets of Catholicism. He notes that he is personally very opposed to abortion, but still believes nobody can tell a woman what she should do with her body.

"My own credo is completely consistent with that, and I'll defend my own faith and my own values to the utmost extent," Trudeau said.

The website Vatican Enquirer has a disclaimer on the main page (archived here) that reads:

Vaticanenquirer.com is a SATIRICAL publication. All stories are only for entertainment and fun, without any compromise with reality. All content is fictional and does not correspond to reality. All persons appearing on this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a strange and miraculous coincidence.

And another one on the about page (archived here):

The Vatican Enquirer is a satirical look at headlines around the world. Billed as "the news closer to being a lie than the truth", the website is meant to be fun, to entertain. If it's not here it's because you have damaged the inter-net.

The stories are not real and purely fictional. All details are fabricated, and is not intended for readers under 18 years of age. Invented names are use in all of its stories, except in cases of known public figures being satirized. Any other use of real names is purely accidental and coincidental.

The Vatican Enquirer covers subjects such as politics, business, technology, entertainment, sports and much, more more. Nothing is off limits.

Our mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance and promote intelligence - which presses forward.

Although our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.

The Vatican Enquirer attempts as often as possible to satirize issues of social relevance in order to influence discourse. We try to appeal to a gender balanced audience. We consider ourselves to be storytellers and liars.

The Vatican Enquirer believes that satire can be an important tool for raising awareness.

You probably shouldn't get your news from a humor website...

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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