Photos posted on Facebook in January 2022 show a man in a suit bathing naked women in a tin tub. One photo identifies the event in a poster reading: “31st CROSS OVER NIGHT”.
The photos were posted on a Hausa language Facebook page with a claim that it was a “bathing ceremony” in a church in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory.
The caption reads: “TIRKASHI : wani Choci a Abuja sun gabatar da Bikin wanka. Fasto ya wanke mabiyansa mata tatas Soso da sabulu, a cikin Cocin shi, a garin Abuja.”.
This translates as: “Amazing! A church in Abuja did a bathing ceremony, where the pastor bathed female church members thoroughly with sponge and soap in his church.”
Many Nigerian churches hold crossover night services a few hours before midnight on 31 December every year. Pastors preach and lead their congregation in prayers into the new year, but naked bathing is not common.
Do the photos really show such a ceremony in Abuja?
Comedy skit shot in Ghana
We searched Google for the story and found that it was widely reported to have happened in a church in Ghana, a country to the west of Nigeria.
Some reports point out that it was a skit by Mark Mensah, a Ghanaian entertainer known as Pastor Blinks. This name can also be seen on the poster, which includes the words “Endtime Church of Blinks”.
We also found a video of the event, uploaded on YouTube on 1 January.
The video’s location is pinned as Kumasi, a city in southwestern Ghana. The video’s title is: “Pastor From Ghana Bath Church Ladies Nak3d To Cleanse Them on 31st Cross Over Night.”
On 3 January, two days after the video went viral, the same channel posted two videos showing how the “crossover night” video was made. In both videos, the director of the skit can be heard calling “action” for each scene. And they show that the women were not completely naked.
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