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Missouri church leaders implore congregants: Get vaccinated | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2021-07-21 19:00:00 –

O’Fallon, Missouri (AP) — As Chief Vicar, one of Missouri’s largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard all the reasons why the congregation does not want to be vaccinated with COVID-19. He wants them to know that not only is it okay to do so, but it is also what the Bible encourages.

Hundreds of pastors, priests, and other church leaders are reaching out to encourage vaccinations throughout Missouri. Siege From the delta variant. According to health experts, this spread is primarily due to low vaccination coverage. Missouri is about 10 percent behind the national average of those who started firing.

Many churches in southwestern Missouri, such as Johnson’s North Point Church, now host vaccination clinics. Meanwhile, more than 200 church leaders have signed a statement urging Christians to vaccinate and announced a follow-up public service campaign on Wednesday, including paid advertising.

“The hesitation of vaccination in our congregation puts our congregation and community at greater risk. Given their safety and availability, receiving the vaccine is” your neighbor yourself It’s an easy way to survive Jesus’ command to “love like”, “quoting Mark’s Chapter 12 verse.

Opposition to vaccination is particularly strong among white evangelical Protestants, who make up more than one-third of Missouri’s population, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center report. March poll Nationally, 40% of white evangelical Protestants are less likely to be vaccinated than 25% of all Americans, according to the Associated Press and NORC Public Relations and Research Center. I will.

The Springfield-based Assemblies of God Church has three campuses, and soon a fourth campus will open. Johnson said the New Testament has dozens of references that encourage people to serve each other. Said it was included.

“I think the impact of fear is great. Fear of trusting something other than the scriptures. Fear of trusting something other than political parties. It’s more comfortable for them to follow. To science. Fear of Trust. We listen to it: “I trust God, not science.” But the truth is science, and God is not something you have to choose. “

With 167,000 inhabitants in Missouri’s third-largest city, Springfield is home to the Assemblies of God National Office in the United States and is located in the heart of a deeply religious area. Mayor Ken McClure said a large crowd was shot the next day when a pastor of the large Assemblies of God Church recently preached the need for vaccination.

“The community of faith turned out to be very influential and very trusted. For me, that is one of the answers about how you can increase your vaccination rate. So we are pastors. Was very receptive. “

They face big challenges. In the last two weeks, 14 counties in southwestern and central Missouri have been designated as “hotspots” for the virus by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Its numbers are likely to increase and may soon include the state’s most populous counties. City and county leaders have warned that the city and county are considering new mask obligations due to the increasing number of cases and hospitalizations in the area.

“There are no announcements to be announced today, but this is a conversational topic and is underway,” Democratic St. Louis County administrator Samuel Page said Wednesday.

Republican Governor Mike Parson was expected to announce a new state-wide incentive program aimed at increasing immunization later on Wednesday. The person was also expected to announce a new leader in the State Department of Health.

New cases continue to grow exponentially throughout the state. The State Department of Health reported 2,229 newly confirmed cases on Wednesday. This is the largest daily surge since January. The state has cited 549,191 confirmed cases since the outbreak last year, citing 9,526 deaths, including eight reported on Wednesday.

Christopher Dixon, a pastor of the Westfinly Baptist Church in Springfield, said the message from the pastor involved in the spread of the vaccine was not intended to “be ashamed or discourage someone.”

“We’re just here to take care of others … and this is to ask you in honor of considering doing so,” Dixon said. I did.

Daron Lamonte Edwards Sr., senior pastor of the United Believers Community Church in Kansas City, pointed out disparities in immunization rates in the black community, partly due to long-standing distrust of the government. He understands, but said it was important to be shot.

“Will you go get your shot out of Christian duty and compassion?” Edwards asked.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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