No compulsory vaccination, German church leaders write in an appeal


Central Europe


Photo EPA, Friedemann Vogel

In Germany, around 150 evangelical pastors, church leaders and other spiritual leaders have joined forces to oppose the introduction of compulsory vaccination. They addressed an appeal to the leading representatives of the country.

Among the addressees are Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the Minister Presidents of the federal states and the members of the Bundestag, German Protestant news agency IDEA reports. The appeal states that “many Christians” in Germany “cannot take the corona vaccinations for reasons of faith and conscience”.

The reasons are manifold. For example, many Christians consider it unethical to use vaccines whose research, production and testing used foetal cell lines taken from the bodies of aborted children. Others are not convinced of the efficacy and safety of the vaccines and therefore cannot in good conscience be given an injection “that they fear could harm their God-given body”.

The signatories write further: “If you decide to introduce a general duty to vaccinate, you will plunge thousands of Christian families in Germany into existential hardship because they cannot comply with such a duty for reasons of faith and conscience.”

Anti-vaccination tour

Meanwhile, a vaccination-sceptical priest in Italy, who lost his parish, went on “anti-vaccination tour last month. Don Emanuele Personeni was removed from his parish in Lombardy after publicly criticising vaccination, website kath.net reports.

The priest also intended to start a social project and help people who have lost their jobs because of Covid and raise money. The diocese spoke of “situations of discomfort”. Like other countries, most bishops in Italy supported the government’s vaccination campaign rather uncritically.

Constitutional rights

A music teacher in Ukraine successfully challenged his dismissal in court after refusing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, Religion Pravda reported last month.

On 5 November 2021, Pavel Zavyalov of the Lviv State Music School S. Lyudkevich was warned about the need to be vaccinated against coronavirus, as vaccination of education workers in Ukraine is mandatory. The teacher of the string instruments department refused and was removed from office a few days later.

Zavyalov disagreed with his removal and went to court, saying he was a Christian and that the vaccination contradicted his religious beliefs. He added that he is the father of six children and could not provide for them due to his removal.

On February 1st, judge Lyudmila Frolova agreed that the dismissal of Zavyalov is illegal, as vaccination against covid is not included in the list of mandatory vaccinations for Ukrainians, approved by the Ministry of Health in 2014. The court found that the dismissal violated the constitutional rights of Zavyalov, as he could not provide for himself and his children. The judge reinstated him as a teacher, and the school’s management had to pay the salary, which he had not received during the three months of suspension.



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