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Reverend’s vaccine fightback: ’The blood of Jesus will not save you from Covid’

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Reverend Alan Storey believes it’s important for religious organisations to counteract a false message on vaccination against Covid-19.

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Reverend Alan Storey regards a statement by ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe equating mandatory vaccination to ’’medical rape’’ and the Jacob Zuma Foundation saying that “God’s atmosphere will ensure that coronavirus is blown away” – before an event celebrating the former president’s release on parole – as highly irresponsible.

He has slammed politicians and faith-based organisations in South Africa who use religious rhetoric to oppose vaccination in an interview on Cape Talk.

This is why Cape Town’s Central Methodist Mission has unveiled a banner on Greenmarket Square that reads: ’’The blood of Jesus will not save you from Covid. Get vaccinated. Protect our health care workers’’.

Storey opposes the ’’false narrative’’, a minority view, that it’s either faith in God or faith in vaccines. He regards the refusal to take life-saving vaccines as a sign of foolishness, not faithfulness.

’’(The banner) celebrates that vaccinations are to be seen as a gift from God that actually saves life and brings life… We should be thanking God and every person that has enabled this (Covid-19 vaccine) to happen.’’

’’Vaccination is safe and effective. It has been proven over and over that vaccination reduces infection, hospitalisation and death,’’ Storey told News24.

’’Some Christian pastors have promoted Holy Communion as ’Covid medicine’. Others have stated that ’Jesus is my vaccine’, securing immunity from Covid. Others have said, because of the ’blood of Jesus’, Covid will ’passover’ without touching me or my family.

’’This religious pressure can tip a person over from vaccine hesitancy to anti-vaccination.’’

Storey told GroundUp: “Every single major religion and denomination is pro-vaccinations. Vaccines are safe and effective – they save lives, they reduce spreading, they reduce hospitalisation.

“But there are individuals who are offering a false binary that it’s either faith in God or faith in the vaccine… That logic is quite difficult to counteract, because… it comes across to the people who are holding it that you are persecuting them, which then emboldens them even more.

“That’s why it’s so crucial for religious organisations like the church to be the one to counteract this false message…

“We should be thanking God for the vaccine and everyone that has made it possible. Vaccines are used by God to bring life.”

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