Back to Africa Check

Kenya’s deputy president with a gun in church? No, photo altered

An image showing Kenyan deputy president William Ruto kneeling in church, a pistol clearly visible in front of him, has been circulating on Facebook since August 2021.

“A gun on one hand and a Bible on the other, that is how our forefathers lost their freedom, their land and it took blood to regain it, 60 years on, we have a terrorist guarantor who never misses a verse to quote,” one user captioned it.

The image has also been posted on a Facebook page with more than 260,000 followers, and on a group page with over 1 million members.

But did Ruto really go to church with a gun? We checked.


Archangel Catholic Church in Nairobi

The deputy president is active on Facebook and Twitter, frequently posting about his daily activities. 

We looked through his recent updates, and found the photo of him kneeling in church on his Facebook page, posted on 1 August.

Its caption reads, in part: “During Holy Mass at St Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Langata, Nairobi County.”

But no pistol can be seen. The image circulating on Facebook has been altered.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.