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Religious Interventions On Covid-19 Vaccinations

Vaccine mandates have increasingly being pushed as the number of viral cases is on the rise. Things are getting worse amongst the public and private sector employers as they are strictly imposed on them. As a way out, most Americans are seeking exemptions from clergy people on such mandates. However, most religious leaders are against giving any letter endorsing exemption from vaccinations and that they are invalid in any institution.

Religious Interventions On Covid-19 Vaccinations

The largest section of the Eastern Orthodox people in the US represented by the Holy Eparchial Synod has urged people not to pay attention to any unscientific claim or narration but to solely depend on medical conformations. Although many people are ineligible to take vaccinations on medical grounds, the Orthodox Church shall not give any restriction on a religious basis.

Religious Interventions On Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros has stated that no clergy would be responsible for issuing any religious letter mentioning the credibility of vaccines and whether they should be avoided or not.

Catholics are encouraged to take vaccines by both the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as a step to reduce suffering. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has said that by issuing exemption letters by any priest, they would be acting against Pope Francis, who said that people should be responsible and go for full vaccinations.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church and a large number of dioceses have acted on the same line and the bishops in El Paso, Texas, and Lexington, Kentucky, Church encouraged vaccination and have mandated the procedure for all employees.

Eric Hawkins, the spokesman of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have said that they do not pose any restriction on the immunization status of any member and the students of the Church’s Brigham Young University have been asked to report their vaccination status though it has not made vaccination mandatory. The US missionaries serving foreign countries have also been asked to get immunized. Also, the Utah- based faith leaders have requested the members to follow vaccination rules set by the state. 

But they have left it to individual choice. The Orthodox Judaism and the United Methodist Church under the Orthodox Union have not issued any policies related to vaccines but are pushing people for following the mandates. Also, the Islamic Scholars under the Fiqh Council of North America have been urged to give Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and not pay heed to baseless information.

However, a number of Catholics are giving a contradictory viewpoint on the rule of religious exemption of vaccines as fetal cell lines have been used for the Covid-19 vaccine tests. The policymakers of the state’s bishop, the Colorado Catholic Conference have stated that any religious head or priest is capable of issuing the parishioner a signed letter saying that the individual is capable of putting objection to vaccination on religious grounds. The bishops of South Dakota have followed suit.

On the other hand, a Southern Baptist megachurch, the Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, said that he is neutral on this point of vaccination. He is neither for nor against the members who want to seek religious exemption. The priest has also added that faith leaders who are against the use of fetal cell lines needed for the tests should also abstain from the use of products like Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen that also use similar cell lines for research.

Whether the priests and other religious bodies agree that they should give permission to members and anybody who seeks their help in deciding whether to get vaccinated or not, what is more, important is that people should be responsible enough to follow the federal laws, get vaccinated, and contribute to the state’s safety. Keeping the present situation in mind, people should be more cautious and shun any information that can mislead them.

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