Nigerian Reverend [Polycarp] Zongo of the Church of Christ in Nations is still being imprisoned in the Islamic State West African Province in Nigeria, despite previous reports they had freed him, The Christian Post reports.
The Khalifah Army, an Islamic Terrorist group in the region, released a proof of life video in October.
The video is in Nigerian, but it was reportedly considered proof to Christians around the world that the pastor was alive. However, it wasn't proof the pastor was released.
Most of the rumors surrounding the pastor's release came from the Islamic State West Africa Province themselves, according to Morning Star News.
Morning Star News claims they got news of the pastor’s supposed release from his church, the Church of Christ in Nigeria. The Christian Post reports that Christians around the world celebrated his release.
It is unclear where the rumors started, but Para Mallam, the head of the Nigerian Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation stated, "We have been sold fake news. Unfortunately, we fell for it. We believed that maybe there was some truth in this. You can imagine the harrowing pain his wife and children and friends are going through right now. "The source of the rumor would provide a clue as to whether the rumor will be worse for him or better for him."
Nigeria has been ravaged by war in Boko Haram. The Islamic State West African Province is a splinter of the group that has been growing in both influence in the country and raw military power. One of their methods is to fill in gaps left by the Nigerian government, much like how Mexican Cartels fill in gaps left by the Mexican Police and welfare departments, which gives the Islamic State West African Province a positive view with the people they have conquered.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Harvepino
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.