Fact Check

Atheist Iceland Issues a Travel Ban Against White Southern Baptists?

A satirical article contains some clues that the claim is false.

Published Jun 13, 2017

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Iceland issued a travel ban against white Southern Baptists.

On 6 June 2017, the web site Patheos published a satirical article saying that Iceland had issued a travel ban preventing white Southern Baptists from visiting the country:

This secular island country situated in the North Atlantic passed a law yesterday preventing white Southern Baptists from entering the country.Officials state that the United States of America is a country in turmoil and Southern Baptists are the ones mostly responsible. Atheist Iceland considers itself to be taking a stand for human rights by not tolerating foreign nationals who seek to undermine democracy.

Patheos largely focuses on religion and spirituality, but it also has a non-religious section that includes humor pieces. The particular piece was published in the Laughing in Disbelief section and linked to a disclaimer stating that the content was satirical:

Have you clicked a link to a story and you’re here?

The story you are reading is satirical. The post may have links to real events that the satire is based on, but the Laughing in Disbelief article is fake.

There are winks to readers in each piece besides the link(s) to this page that I humbly offer as hints that the story in question is satirical.

A few of the "winks" from this story include:

  • The President of Iceland is not named Lars Bork. (His real name is Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.)
  • Iceland is not an atheist country. (80% of its citizens are members of the Lutheran State Church.)
  • U.S. Republicans have not demanded that the country rename skyr, an Icelandic dairy product, "Freedom Yogurt" as the article claims.  

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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