Mennonite church says it won't seek exemptions for COVID-19 vaccinations


Staff member
By Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mennonite Church Canada (MCC) has announced they won't pursue religious exemptions for those who do not want to get a COVID-19 vaccine, because they say they see nothing in their faith that would warrant that type of exemption.
“For a religious exemption to be granted, rationale for exemption must be clearly indicated within our sacred texts or confessional statements,” the Winnipeg-based organization which represents more than 31,000 members in hundreds of churches across the country said.
“We wish to clarify that there is nothing in the Bible, in our historic confessions of faith, in our theology, or in our ecclesiology that justifies granting a religious exemption from vaccinations against COVID-19.”
Religious exemptions to getting a COVID-19 vaccine are based on the argument that a person’s own religion or their beliefs exclude them from having to get vaccinated, however even if a religious group was to grant exemptions, that decision would still need to be validated by government.
In the statement, which was signed by the six executive ministers of Mennonite Church Canada, they said they have been fielding inquiries from constituents regarding exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines, but that they, as an organization, believe the vaccines are a way for people to protect their own health, and the health of others.
“From the earliest biblical writings, in the words of Jesus Christ and in ecclesial writings since Jesus’ ascension, the command to love God and love our neighbour is paramount,” the statement read.
“Vaccinations allow us to live out this command. Not only do they reduce the severity of symptoms for those who become infected with COVID-19, but they reduce the risk of spreading the virus to those around us.
“We pray for unity among us in the Spirit of Christ, who calls us into this life of love, especially for our most vulnerable neighbours.”
The organization is also telling its members they should...continued

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