A video is viral on social media which shows a man, seemingly a Christian priest, dancing with a woman. The video draws immediate attention because the man who is in the attire of a priest is seen engaging in a provocative dance with the woman even as several others dance and record videos in the background.

The video is being circulated on social media with sarcastic jibes at the priest and at Christianity itself.

Tamil actor and choreographer Kanal Kannan tweeted this viral 17-second clip on June 18, 2023. It has accumulated close to 8 Lakh views and 3,100 retweets. In the caption, he urged converted Hindus to repent for the state of ‘foreign religious culture’. (Archive)

The cyber cell of Tamil Nadu police on July 10, 2023, arrested Kannan in connection with the tweet.

On the same day, Twitter user Vijay Patel (@vijaygajera), whose bio describes him as an ‘investigative journalist’, posted an ANI report about Kannan’s arrest, and in the comments, tweeted another similar video of the ‘Christian priest’ dancing provocatively, this time with another woman.

Twitter user @Anandkumar_IND, too, tweeted a video showing the ‘priest’ dancing with the same woman as in the video shared by Kannan and captioned it with sarcastic jibes at the ‘Christian way of practising devotion’. (Archive)

The video is also viral on Facebook. Several users shared it while calling out the ‘Christian priest’s’ act.

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Fact Check

By comparing relevant screengrabs from the videos posted by Kanal Kunnan and Vijay Patel, we were able to determine that the man featured in both videos was the same person.

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A reverse image search with one of the key-frames from the video featuring the lady in a blue dress led us to an Instagram page called lpe363, which posts funny clips. The video of the man dancing with the lady in a blue dress was posted on this page on July 7. In the post, the woman has been tagged, identifying her as a Portuguese model named Mikaella Nunes. On checking Nunes’ feed, we came across the same video that showed her dancing with the man who is claimed to be a priest.

In the post, she has tagged the man, which led us to this profile, belonging to Inacio Falcao, whose Instagram bio reads ‘Artist’. It has around 548 posts, most of them featuring the man in the dress of a Christian priest. He has also shared the video which initially went viral, on his Instagram page, on June 20, of him dancing with a lady in white and black clothes.

The bio of his Instagram account led us to Inacio Falcao’s YouTube channel, which he handles under the fictional name of the priest he impersonates at parties and social gatherings. The description of his YouTube channel (@papapopocaruaru), when translated to English, reads:

“Hello! My name is Inácio Falcão. I am an artist born in Caruaru. Creator of the character Papa Popó Caruaru, which for several years has animated São João de Caruaru and other events such as: Carnival, Holy Week, Winter festivals, Regional parties, Moto Fest, Christmas, Private parties.”

On his YouTube channel, Falcao had posted the viral video on June 19, and has credited the source of the clip to Dra. Poliana Teodoro. Alt News ran a keyword search for the same which directed us to the Instagram account of the woman in a black and white dress seen dancing in the clip tweeted by Kanal Kannan. She also uploaded the video on her own account, tagging the actor/entertainer in it.

To sum up, a clip had originally gone viral on social media with the claim that a Christian priest was dancing indecently with a young woman in what appears to be a social gathering. However, Alt News found that the man who appeared to be a priest was actually a Brazilian actor named Inacio Falcao who would often impersonate a fictional Christian priest in parties and act as a source of amusement to the crowd. The claim is therefore misleading.

Amplification of False Claim by OpIndia

On July 11, Right Wing propaganda outlet OpIndia published a story about the arrest of Tamil stunt choreographer Kanal Kannan, whom they identified as the ‘state president of the popular Hindu organization Hindu Munnani’. The article referred to the man seen dancing in the video only once, simply as a ‘priest’, with no further elaboration.

The article gives a brief summary of the police action against Kannan, and is concluded by the remarks of the state spokesperson of Hindu Munnani. OpIndia has also shared the tweet that landed Kannan in trouble with the authorities, but has not elaborated on the source of the video or the identity of the man seen dancing.

An excerpt from OpIndia’s story, which describes the man as a ‘priest’

Prantik Ali is an intern at Alt News.

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