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No, Facebook is not banning posts containing the Lord’s Prayer

A chain message from 2020 claiming Facebook is banning a Christian prayer has resurfaced on the site — and it’s still not true.
Credit: AP
FILE - This March 29, 2018, file photo shows the Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

VERIFY viewer “RL” asked in an email, “Did [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg say that posting the Lord's Prayer went against policy?”

RL’s question stems from chain Facebook posts asking others to share the Lord’s Prayer, which is a popular Christian prayer, to their timelines to protest an alleged Facebook ban. It’s one version of a series of similar chain posts that have spread over the years alleging that Facebook banned Christian content.  

THE QUESTION

Is Facebook banning posts containing the Lord’s Prayer?

THE SOURCES

  • Facebook policy 
  • Facebook spokesperson Ayobami Olugbemiga 
  • Archive search of Facebook posts containing the Lord’s Prayer

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Facebook is not banning posts containing the Lord’s Prayer. Posts containing the Christian prayer are regularly shared thousands of times without being removed from the site.

WHAT WE FOUND

“Posting the Lord’s Prayer does not violate our policies,” said Ayobami Olugbemiga, a spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

The only mention of religion or Christianity in Facebook’s Community Standards is in its section forbidding hate speech, in which hate speech against a religious affiliation is banned from the site.

A search for the Lord’s Prayer on Facebook shows content related to the topic has existed on the site for years. Since Jan. 1, there have been several posts with thousands of likes that include the Lord’s Prayer, posted by both pages and individuals.

There is also a Facebook page with 42,000 likes called “Praying The Lord’s Prayer Daily” that has existed since 2019. 

As for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he has never made a public statement stating Facebook intends to ban the prayer, or Christian messaging in general, from its platform.

SOURCE OF MISINFORMATION

This claim, and similar claims about Facebook banning Christian content, have circulated for years.

In 2020, the Lord’s Prayer claim spread like wildfire across Facebook. Fact-checkers who investigated the claim at that time found no evidence that Facebook was banning the prayer and spoke to Facebook to confirm it was not against the social media’s content policies.

While not specifically about the Lord’s Prayer, claims that Facebook is banning Christian content can be traced at least to 2016, when an article making the claim went viral. That article, which has since been deleted and is not archived, was posted by Associated Media Coverage — a website known by multiple fact-checking organizations and the Knight Foundation as one that posted fabricated stories. While the original article no longer exists, multiple articles from 2016 referencing Associated Media Coverage as the source still exist today.

Christian content that adheres to Facebook’s guidelines has been shared on the site uninterrupted since 2016, proving the claim to not be true.

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