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Why “the way to end the pandemic runs through the evangelical church”

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham (Franklin Graham) believes that Americans should be vaccinated against COVID-19. The missionary told CBS News that he thought the Jesuit would want people to shoot, and he was turning to the Bible and Samaritan fables.

If you can persuade evangelicals (perhaps the most discussed people with a high degree of vaccine hesitation), you need to figure this out.

“Jesus did tell the story of a man being beaten, robbed and killed on the side of the road. Religious leaders walked past him without sympathy. They were not involved. But the Samaritans were sympathetic, Graham Telling CBS News in an interview. “He immediately bandaged-he put oil and wine on the wound, took him to a hotel and paid to take care of him. Now, oil and wine are the medicine for that day… For me, vaccines for me, I believe, are saving lives, and this is what Jesus Christ wants us to do to help save lives. This is just a tool to help save lives. “

Pastor Franklin Graham brings the gospel message to California before elementary education
Pastor Franklin Graham waved to attendees during the “American Decision” California tour at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock, California, May 29, 2018.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Graham is the son of the late missionary Billy Graham and the grandson of a Chinese medical missionary. He pointed out that the church has a long tradition of using drugs to help others. Last week, he told his 9 million Facebook followers that the wallet of his international relief charity Samaritans had “witnessed” human suffering from COVID-19, and encouraged people to “talk to their doctors, and Pray for them to determine which vaccine (if any) is suitable for them.”

Although thousands of users liked and “loved” the post, most commenters were outraged or frustrated by it.

“As far as we know, Fauci helped develop COVID-19!” One wrote, referring to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is also President Biden’s chief medical adviser. .

Another wrote: “The government and the media have a crazy fear of this flu-certain dead flus prompt people to obey like sheep.”

Another woman responded: “It has aborted cells in it… I am against abortion.”

Although anecdotal, these responses highlight a trend. Evangelicals, especially white evangelicals, are the religious groups most likely to say that they don’t want a vaccine.

Religious vaccine conspiracies abound


A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in February found that white evangelicals are least likely to say that they are “definitely or likely” to get (or have) received the COVID-19 vaccine (54%) or have Religious groups who have been vaccinated, most likely to say “them”. Certainly” or “probably” will not get the vaccine (45%). That is among all Protestants, whites and blacks, whites and Spanish Catholics, atheists, agnostics and “nothing special”.

Understanding this reason and encouraging those who are persuasive can save lives as the country strives to achieve cattle immunization, which Fauci estimates requires 70% to 90% of the population to be vaccinated. So far, approximately 17% of the American population has been fully vaccinated.

Curtis Chang, who once served as a senior pastor, is now an advisory professor at Duke University Theological Seminary and runs his own consulting company in cooperation with public health entities and non-profit organizations. He created a company called “Christian And vaccines” project. His website provides scientific information about vaccines from a biblical perspective and provides a shareable video clip to spread evangelicals who are not persuaded by public health officials.

In a telephone interview with CBS, Chang said: “The message I have been trying to convey to secular public health officials is very simple-the way to end the pandemic is through the evangelical church. I mean, statistically speaking, this It is undeniable.” message. “Public health must begin to invest resources and energy to equip evangelicals and make them people who are trying to persuade their brothers and sisters.”

Graham hoped that his position would persuade the Christians on the wall to shoot, which he thought was “no effort”. The Samaritan’s wallet, in cooperation with local health officials, opened a vaccine clinic in Boone, North Carolina, and has vaccinated more than 5,000 people.

The Internet is flooded with articles, theories, data and opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including positives and positives.

Franklin Graham (Franklin Graham) published on March 24, 2021, Wednesday

Graham told CBS News: “The Samaritan’s wallet has been working in the COVID area.” “Last year, we were in Cremona, Italy. We worked in New York City. Then we went to the Bahamas, in North Another office opened here in Carolina and Los Angeles County. We saw what COVID can do. I have some employees of my own, and one of them stayed on a ventilator for three months, and I just learned from what I saw and experience See, I don’t want COVID, nor do I want anyone else to get it, to make it happen.”

There are many reasons for the hesitation of evangelical vaccines. Some people oppose the long-distance contact with aborted fetal tissue, especially the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Some people do not trust the federal government and large pharmaceutical companies. Others pointed out that statistically, there is a high probability that a person will recover from COVID, and Jesus is the great healer. Some people worry that this is “the mark of the beast”, referring to the symbol in the “Revelation”. The lack of long-term clinical trials and other awareness of long-term effects is also a concern for many people.

Othneil Hinckson, an evangelical pastor in Texas, is a Christian who does not want to get a vaccine for religious reasons. His family usually relies on prayer rather than medicine to overcome illness. He believes that COVID-19 is real and a serious disease. But for him, COVID-19 is no different from other diseases, and believers can be healed through the power of prayer. Hinkson may be only a small part of a small number of evangelical communities, who usually avoid medical intervention in favor of God’s healing, but his conviction is firm.

He told CBS News: “As far as I am concerned, no vaccine is needed because I have a better vaccine.” “When someone cures you, there will always be complications… It’s hard to explain. , But we are doing everything we can to trust God with everything we have.”

He said his family had avoided the disease so far, and he did not know that anyone in the congregation had contracted COVID-19.

Graham said he understands the concerns about the new vaccine and said that on any issue, not only among Christians, there will always be skepticism.

Graham said: “I think people are afraid of new things.” “Especially when you go somewhere to jab the arm and inject serum or vaccine into their arm. I think someone will always be afraid. So I won’t blame it. Of course they, I will understand their concerns. I think my speech is only suitable for people who may run into a wall. I just want them to understand my origins and origins, but of course I won’t tell others just, I think it’s a Healthy decision. Again, I saw COVID and what it can do for a person, and you don’t want it. It’s that simple.”

After talking with the CEO of a leading health agency in the Bay Area, Chang started his project in late December. He realized that public health professionals lack the language to communicate with evangelical communities, and as a result, evangelical communities sometimes do not trust public health officials.

“Secular Public Health [officials] Chang said that this will provide all necessary scientific and medical information. This is an important part of the puzzle-not indifferent. But there are other spiritual, religious, moral, and cultural issues. They just don’t have language or understanding. So, basically, it’s like putting beef to vegetarians. “

Therefore, due to concerns about the politicization of the mask issue and strong opposition to church restrictions, ChristiansAndTheVaccine.com has been opened for fear that evangelicals may not accept this vaccine.

Chang said: “I made these videos, and each of them tried to solve one of the problems that I thought would be difficult to solve especially for secular public health.” “The reason I showed them in a short video format is because if you continue Dissemination of the wrong information on this issue, then this is due to the short video transmission between people in the interpersonal network. Therefore, this is how the wrong information is spreading, and it is spreading.”

Chang hopes that his project is a particularly useful resource for pastors. They may not want to talk about hotkey topics or have lengthy email discussions with members, but they can share short reference videos. Evangelical leaders are more likely than their compatriots to say that they will be vaccinated. According to a survey of evangelical leaders in January, up to 95% of evangelical leaders expressed their willingness to be vaccinated, while 89% expressed their willingness to encourage others to do so.

Chang said: “The reason I made these videos is that pastors don’t have to preach in class on Sunday morning.” “When they ask questions, they can say,’Here, watch this video.'”

Zhang said that public health professionals are gradually beginning to realize the importance of addressing evangelical vaccine hesitation.

On Thursday, the Advertising Committee announced a new partnership with the COVID Cooperative and Chang’s project ChristiansAndTheVaccine.com and other evangelical organizations to try to obtain information from people they trust in the COVID-19 vaccine to spread evangelicalism. The Biden administration has also begun to realize the importance of evangelism and has begun to establish partnerships with faith leaders to help them preach the gospel.

Zhang said: “This is our chance to truly become citizens of the world.” “As evangelicals, if we allow the virus to replicate unrestricted in our own communities-even if we think’well, we are willing to endure this risk ‘, we also allow the virus to continue to replicate, and this is precisely the formula for developing this virus variant, which can eventually bypass the vaccine and destroy it to everyone else.”

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