False: COVID-19 vaccines are anti-christian and associated with "666."

By: Rachel Muller-Heyndyk
July 29 2021

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False: COVID-19 vaccines are anti-christian and associated with


The Verdict False

COVID-19 vaccines are not anti-christian and have been endorsed by many faith leaders.

Claim ID e03cc2f1

COVID-19 vaccines are not anti-christian and have been endorsed by many faith leaders. Some evangelical Christians have espoused that COVID-19 vaccines are related to "666" or the mark of the beast. The conspiracy theory has reached sizable audiences of Christians online, as reported in the Washington Post. There is no evidence for this, and many religious leaders have stepped forward to offer their full support for the global vaccination drive. The "mark of the beast" originally appears in the New Testament. Eric M. Vanden Eykel, Associate Professor of Religion, Ferrum College, writes in an article for The Conversation that comparisons cannot logically be made between COVID-19 vaccines and early Christian beliefs. He states that the analogy is often made when new technology, movements, or initiatives, such as the COVID-19 vaccine, arise that are not fully understood or accepted. Eykel says: "COVID-19 vaccines are modern phenomena that the author of Revelation and his earliest readers would have no familiarity with." Furthermore, he adds that there has in fact been a high level of debate surrounding the number 666 and its relevance in early scripts. Religious leaders of different faiths came together in April 2021 to promote their support for vaccines. Christian Aid released a statement noting that 145 religious leaders including Cardinal Peter Turkson from the Catholic Church, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, and Dr. Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, have released the statement as part of a campaign, which is also supported by the Dalai Lama. They further urged world leaders to "resist greed" and not to restrict vaccines to the Global North. An article in the New York Times notes that the Christian right has acted as an obstacle to the global vaccination drive: "The opposition is rooted in a mix of religious faith and a longstanding wariness of mainstream science, and it is fueled by broader cultural distrust of institutions and gravitation to online conspiracy theories." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the New York Times that it is unsure of how to persuade Evangelical Christians that the vaccine is safe. Evangelical Christians account for approximately 25 percent of the U.S population. It is clear that there is no link between anti-Christian sentiments and COVID-19 vaccines, and that the idea that vaccines will "mark" individuals is rooted in historic conspiracy theories. CORRECTION: We initially wrote that the "mark of the beast" appears in the Old Testament. It does not. We have corrected this error. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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