Like all religions, Christianity is a complex, heterogenous entity consisting of dozens of denominations with unique beliefs. Perspectives on vaccination and healthcare vary widely across denominations and nationalities, and it would be nearly impossible to list every denomination's view on vaccines here. We have highlighted a few of the major denominations, or ones found most widely in our St. Louis community.
Roman Catholic Perspectives
The Archdiocese of St. Louis released a statement on March 2nd informing the public that "Catholics who appropriately question the morality of accepting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may receive the inoculation in good conscience if no other alternative is available." They encouraged those who had access to all three vaccines to choose the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines over the Johnson & Johnson, but they were adamant that, should one only have access to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the moral good it will do in saving lives and protecting community health far outweighs concerns about the use of derived cell lines.
Historically Black Protestant Churches Perspectives
Countless Black medical associations, Black ministers, and Black community organizers have spoken out about the safety of the vaccine and encouraged people to get vaccinated as soon as they were able. Read more from area pastors encouraging members to get vaccinated in this reporting by St. Louis Public Radio: "St. Louis Pastors Say The Church Must Ask Black People To Get The Coronavirus Vaccine" by Andrea Henderson
Protestant Churches Perspectives
The following statement by Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, broadly reflects the theological commitments of many Protestant denominations in support of vaccinations:
"Because we believe in the God who urged the people of God to “seek the good of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) where they were located, a city that was not even their native home, we urge all people to be vaccinated. Because we are followers of the Jesus Christ who requires us “to love the Lord your God … and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27), we urge all people to get vaccinated. Because we confess, as a matter of our religious belief, that “the members of the church are emissaries of peace and seek the good of all in cooperation with powers and authorities in politics, culture, and economics” (Confession of 1967), we urge all to seek the good of all, to love their neighbor and get vaccinated." See the full statement here.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Perspectives
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has encouraged all of its members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following message on Thursday, August 12, 2021, to Church members around the world stating: "To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective."
Read the full letter here: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021
Christian Scientist Perspectives
Though most members of the Christian Science church normally rely on focused prayer to prevent or cure disease, church members are free to make their own choices on all life decisions, in obedience to the law, including whether or not to vaccinate. These aren’t decisions imposed by their church.