Some Religious Leaders Support the COVID-19 Vaccine While Others are Unsure

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DES MOINES, Iowa – As companies race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Last Friday, the Diocese of Des Moines released a statement showing their support for the vaccine. 

“We could see how things were accelerating so quickly for the actual release and delivery of vaccines and kind of the fast-track approval of things,” said the Diocese of Des Moines Reverend William Joensen.

“And I think our people, our flocks, and other people of goodwill just wanted to know where in good faith could respond and what and what they are to make of our situation.”

Also in support of the vaccine is the Presbyterian Church.

“Our pastors have discussions with the members [and] have preached about it. It has been the most important topic of the year,” said Executive Presbytery of Des Moines Amgad Beblawi.

However, leaders understand why some people may feel hesitant about taking the vaccine. 

“We’re just trying to have people recognize [that] yeah there will probably be some minor side effects that go with this but both the individual good and the common good will be achieved is pretty compelling,” said Reverend Joensen. 

It is the unknowns about the vaccine that worries other Christian leaders.

“I don’t want to push anything because I don’t want to be forced to take this vaccine,” said King of Kings Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Jordan Rabon. “We don’t know anything really about it anything that says warp speed to me is skeptical and it bears watching.”

In November, the Baptist News Global reported that 37% of people are concerned about the rushed timeline. 

Despite the worries, all of the leaders encourage their members to make the right decision for themselves. 

“We try to tell our members not to think about it in terms of politics. It’s really about being good neighbors and good stewards of our own health,” said Beblawi. 

“So wearing a mask means that you’re protecting your neighbor. Being vaccinated is likewise not only protecting your own health but loving your neighbor.”

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