Urban Legend: Christian Boy Died for 3 Minutes and Met Allah in Heaven

Glorious sky over the ocean at Robert Moses Beach
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In this urban legend, there is a viral news article circulating online that says a Christian boy died on the operating table, was revived and claimed he met Allah in heaven. This rumor has been circulating since May 2014 and can be categorized as fake news and satire due to the falsehood that has since been uncovered:

Christian Boy Dies For 3 Minutes, Meets Allah in Heaven
May 05, 2014
A young Christian boy who briefly died on a surgeon’s operating table this weekend says he met someone named Allah in heaven.
Bobby Anderson, the son of a well-known Christian pastor in Atlanta, suffered internal injuries from an automobile accident and was technically dead for 3 minutes before being resuscitated. During that time the 12-year-old claims he visited the afterlife and spoke to several leading figures of the Islamic religion.

The Stories Are Purely Fictional

After an analysis has been taken, it was soon realized that no such incident took place. The above is a satirical article that originally appeared on the now-defunct humor website DailyCurrant.com on May 5, 2014. It's a spoof, a joke, and fake news.

In fact, the Daily Currant's website had the following disclaimer:

Q. Are your news stories real?
A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.

Based on a True Story

This particular fictional story appears to be very loosely based on 2011 news reports about Colton Burpo, a four-year-old child from Nebraska who had told his parents, after he was recovering from a near-death experience, that he had seen Jesus and "streets of gold" in heaven, not to mention long-dead relatives he had never met.

As you can see in some of the examples below, the Daily Currant has a penchant for lampooning people's religious beliefs—and raising the hackles of those targeted for their sarcasm.

How to Fact Check Fake Stories

To determine if a news story is fake, you can take a few actions like looking at the domain and URL name, reading the "About Us" page or double checking the quotes in a story to see if they are cited from multiple sources.

Understanding if a source is reputable and trustworthy will give you some inclination to whether or not it is a true story. If there is a section for comments, check to see if people have responded to question the authority of the story. You could also get technical by performing a reverse image search on the pictures used through Google, which will stop the circulation of fake news articles while they are in their track.

Sources and Further Reading