Pentecostal churches on the Atlantic coast of Canada under surveillance as vaccination promotion surges

Religious scholars oppose vaccination, although recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Newfoundland, Labrador and Newbrandswick have been preached in Pentecostal churches in the affected areas. The minister says it is an exception to religion.

The Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity known for its enthusiastic ministers preaching and singing about the devil, and the congregation raising and shaking their hands in ecstasy and speaking in tongues. Although few, denominations are being scrutinized on the Atlantic coast of Canada as the government strives to put needles in unvaccinated arms.

In Bishop’s Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, the first United Pentecostal church was at the heart of this month’s COVID-19 outbreak, eventually causing 56 infections and killing at least one unvaccinated congregation. bottom. The state describes the cluster as one of the “socially closely related groups”, and Prime Minister Andrew Furey convenes a meeting of religious leaders, including the Pentecostalists, to mark the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. We talked about sex.

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Relojy, the pastor of the first United Pentecostal Church, said he was in compliance with government-introduced public health regulations, but demanded access to services and vaccinations to do certain jobs. We are concerned that compulsory compliance is a sign of increased control that can have biblical consequences.

“God does not force anyone to serve God,” Gee said in an interview Wednesday. “But we are in an era where you are forced to service the system, and that system will become what is known as the tribulation, or antichrist system.”

In New Brunswick, the Pentecostal church Amazing Grace was designated as the location of contact notification in the northwestern part of the state on August 29. In a recent telephone interview, a New Foundland minister believed that some of his family members were exposed to the virus as a result of the spread in the church and asked health officials to investigate what happened. rice field. He said his unvaccinated father died as a result of the outbreak.

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Last weekend in St. John, New Brunswick, authorities discovered that his Tabernacle Family Church violated public health orders. “The investigation is ongoing and the issue is being heard in court,” Health Minister Dorothy Shepherd told reporters Tuesday.

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Phil Hatchings, founder and chief pastor of St. John’s Church, posted on Facebook on Sunday: But I forgot to tell the public security that I changed the place, “continued the laughing emoji. According to the church’s website, Hatchings, who did not respond to the interview request, was trained at the Pentecostal Zion Bible School on Rhode Island.

Leroy Gee said he was vaccinated, but he doesn’t feel it’s his place to tell the congregation in Bishops Falls to follow. “As a minister, I am here to help people spiritually,” he said.

In a recent interview, Roydy, a pastor of Amazing Grace in New Brunswick, said that the vast majority of people in his church were completely vaccinated and he never clearly preached to that practice. Said not. “The only thing I have ever said to my parishioners is to be guided by peace and pray for their decisions,” Dee said. “It’s between them and the Lord.”

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COVID-19: Parents Request Circuit Breaker at Another Halifax School

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If the Pentecostal Church is preaching against vaccination or violating public health rules, they are an exception within the scope of faith, the University of Tindale, a private evangelical Christian university in Toronto. Bradley Noel, Dean of the Christian Ministry of Christianity, said.

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“Our ministers … did their best to encourage people to follow public health guidelines,” said Noel, who is also the Minister of the Pentecostal Parliament in Newfoundland and Labrador. Unlike the Pope, who recommended vaccination to believers in August, Pentecostal leaders may insist on spiritual guidance and instruct the congregation to consult a doctor for COVID-19 advice. He said it was expensive.

He pointed out that several Pentecostal churches in Newfoundland are currently hosting vaccination clinics.

“In my experience today, Pentecostalism is not antiscience,” he said. He acknowledged that faith had roots in isolation, and its early members considered themselves relatively counterculture. “They believe in angels and demons, they believe in healing. They have a very supernatural view of the world and believe that it is reflected in the Bible.”

Both Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick state that the Church can use the state’s vaccine passport system or hold rallies with a capacity of 50 percent, among other restrictions. Noel said he had a lot to ask any church, whether Pentecostal or not. “The minister doesn’t want to turn someone who came out for worship on Sunday morning to the door.”

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According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, Newfoundland and Labrador has a population of approximately 33,200, more than 6% of the population. As part of the population, it is the largest Pentecostal presence in the country.

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According to Noel, most of the state’s Pentecostal churches are located in the so-called Bible Belt region, which stretches from Gander to the Bible Belt Peninsula in central Newfoundland. Bishops Falls has at least two and has a population of about 3,000.

According to government data, the Bible Belt is also home to some of the state’s lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates. But Noel warns against drawing a connection.

“People had a pretty conservative mindset, so the Pentecostals might have worked there,” he said. “That reasonably conservative mindset can lead them to certain forms of media, and those particular forms of media can question the effectiveness of vaccines.”

This report by Canadian Press was first published on October 14, 2021.

– Use files from Michael Tutton in Halifax

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Pentecostal churches on the Atlantic coast of Canada under surveillance as vaccination promotion surges

Source link Pentecostal churches on the Atlantic coast of Canada under surveillance as vaccination promotion surges

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