German church seems to favour compulsory vaccination


Central Europe


People wait before they can enter the church in Stuttgart to get vaccinated. Photo AFP, Thomas Kienzle

In Germany, more and more church people are arguing in favour of compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus. The Protestant EKD president Annette Kurschus has said she is in favour of a vaccine obligation.

This is reported by the press agency Idea.

It is expected that the new German government of Chancellor Scholz will present a bill for a mandatory vaccination.

Kurschus said in an interview with the German radio that inoculation is the only way to contain the infection rate. She cannot accept the attitude of those who oppose vaccination.

Many other clergy people in the church supported Kurschus, like bishop Gothard Magaard in Northern Germany. To get out of the crisis, “we cannot avoid compulsory vaccination”, he said in the media. “There is a clear framework that defines what society expects from each individual.”

Even a pastor who argued against compulsory vaccination a few weeks ago, has changed his mind. “The state has to fulfil its obligation to protect human life with far-sightedness.”

The former German State President and church minister Joachim Gauck came out against a mandatory immunisation. “The obligation to vaccinate limits my personal freedom in a very small part.”

The Prime Minister of Bavaria, the Christian Democrat Markus Söder, is still in favour. “It is not so bad to be vaccinated – on the contrary, it even protects and gives freedom.”

More people leaving church now

Church president Kurschus was criticised for her statement by the German columnist Gunnar Schupelius, who wrote: “You should not be surprised if more members are now leaving the church.”

Also within the parliament there are voices against. The Liberal vice-president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, said that the behaviour of vaccine defenders “is no longer rational.” Also, the populist AfD thinks compulsory vaccination is “unlawful.”

The chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, says this is the wrong solution. “You can’t seriously impose a compulsory vaccination on people and then find that the effect of the vaccine only lasts a few months.”



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