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Ralph Gonsalves

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, on Sunday, expressed disappointment that church leaders have not been urging their members to take COVID-19 vaccines.

His comments came two weeks after his government allowed churches to increase their occupancy to one-third of their capacity, even as all other indoor gatherings remain limited to 20 persons and in-establishment dining has been banned.

“I am disappointed that except for a sprinkling of church leaders that they have not come out unequivocally to tell people [to] take the vaccine,” Gonsalves said at the Obelisk in Dorsetshire Hill, during the National Heroes’ Day wreath laying ceremony.

“I see [Methodist minister] Reverend [Adolf] Davis has done it; I see one or two others. And I don’t mean to single outr Reverend Davis, but there are too many,” the prime minister said, referring to the head of the Christian Council.

The prime minister said he had read in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, on Sunday morning, that the head of the Anglican Church in that country had “come out very strongly to tell people to take the vaccine, because he took it.

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“Our religious leaders, I am asking all of them to step forward and be counted at this moment,” Gonsalves said.

“… we believe sincerely in the mantra, as was believed by [national hero Joseph] Chatoyer, no one is truly safe until every one of us is safe,” he said.

“Taking the vaccine is an important part in the current period of defending your country, defending your patrimony, defending your civilisation, promoting well- being and strengthening the road now and ahead for our lives, our livelihoods and for production.

Adolph Davis
Gonsalves said that the Reverend Adolf Davis, president of the SVG Christian Council, has urged persons to take the vaccine. (iWN file photo)

Gonsalves returned to the topic on WE FM later on Sunday.

He said that the council of churches in Jamaican had issued a strong statement against a pastor who told his congregation, which had gathered without masks, that COVID-19 could not enter the building because “the spirit of God will deal with this thing”.

“Clearly, was religious demagoguery because it is difficult for me to see that a person, completely in all his senses and a person who is appraised both of faith and reason — and part of reason is science –could make a statement like that,” Gonsalves said.

“But the Christian cCouncil came out and made a statement about that, making it absolutely clear that that is not the sort of theological exposition that they would expect to come from somebody who is supposed to be a responsible church person.

The prime minister again restated the point about the head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica taking the vaccine and encouraging other others to do so.

“Not only did he take it, but he say I’m not only taking this, I’m not only urging people to take the vaccine, I’m actively campaigning and say yes, this vaccine must be taken — taking a strong position,” Gonsalves said.

“And I would like to see in our country the religious leaders line up and take this position in relation to the vaccine. It’s for the good of their members.”

He said that the Apostle Paul had long spoken about “the merging of faith and reason, faith and science”.

Gonsalves took his jab in February, when the country had received, through “an intermediary”, 20 doses of Sputnik-V from Russia.

The 74-year-old prime minister entered “prayerful consideration” before taking the jab, saying that he did not want to be accused of jumping the cue.

He further said that some journalists had told him they would only take the jab if he took it first.

Since then, the country has received about 45,000 doses of vaccine, including 40,000 doses of the Covishield (Indian) AstraZeneca from India.

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13 replies on “PM ‘disappointed’ church leaders not promoting C-19 jabs”

  1. Avatar Of No To The Present Covid Vaccines And BullyingNO TO THE PRESENT COVID VACCINES AND BULLYING says:

    HOW ABOUT LET THE POPULACE CONTINUE TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO PUT INTO THEIR BODY?

    DOES IT UPSET YOU SO MUCH THAT PEOPLE ARE THINKING FOR THEMSELVES FOR ONCE?

    FIRST, YOU WERE PAINED. NOW, YOU’RE DISAPPOINTED.

    GUESS VINCENTIANS ARE STRAYING AWAY FROM THE SHEEP MENTALITY THEY ONCE HAD AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER.

    I TRULY HOPE MOST VINCENTIANS DO NOT TAKE YHE VACCINE AT THIS STAGE.

    WHAT THE PM FAILS TO REALIZE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT ANTI-VAXXERS, WE SIMPLY CHOOSE NOT TO BE PART OF VACCINE TRIALS AND HAVE NO ISSUES WAITING UNTIL THE SCIENCE IS MORE RESEARCHED ETC.

  2. According to Galatians 6:5, “every man shall bear his own burden.” So according to Almighty God, every person has his or her own responsibility to choose to take or not take the Covid vaccine. NO ONE has the God-given right to force someone to take the vaccine. It remains a personal choice.

  3. If a church leader himself is not convinced that he should take the vaccine why should he encourage his congregants to do so? I think most Christians are doing like the prime minister “taking it under prayerful consideration”. God speaks to each of us differently, consequently we make different decisions.

  4. Those church leaders who are opposing the vaccine should not allowed to play an active role in the community, mainly because they choose to bury their congregation than nurturing them. So let’s see what the sensible congregation doing about the situation. Let’s see how stupid they are.

  5. PM, you seem to be putting up a fight but that must include leveling with the people and telling them that you only have enough vaccines for 20,000 people out of 111,000; you don’t know where the rest is coming from.

  6. Avatar Of Kittana AlbertKittana Albert says:

    The people who call themselves Christians are scared of the vaccine saying it will change their DNA And it is associated with the mark of the beast .but I have news for them when the mark of the beast do appears they will take it and won’t even know they have taken it .

    1. Who do you take Christ for?you do what you feel but we shall do as the Holy spirit say and pray that your flight does not come in winter

  7. Can you imagine 4 months after your ‘5 in ah row,’ and you can’t convince one quarter of your voters to take the vaccine??
    This speaks volume Ralph the dictator. Pack yo bundle and go home!!

  8. Come on IWNews.. , our country has well over 100 thousand people. How can you say the “country had received 20 doses” of the Sputnik vaccine? Those vaccines were not for the COUNTRY! …”after prayerful consideration”, my foot! The truth is that HE COWARDLY JUMPED THE CUE! Who else shared the 20 Sputnik doses? When this Covid thing started, was it not him who mocked us on the radio when he said…”Jah lick dem wid diseases”?
    I hear people often say that Many of those Men Of The Cloth are nothing but stooges grovelling for any crumbs that fall from the table of the authoritarian ruler who now and then pretends to publicly ‘big them up’. They call on Jah by name but care very little about the welfare of their followers… especially in these COVID times. All man jack for himself!
    My people, pay more attention to what they DO, not what they SAY. Put the politics aside. Make the decision that you feel is best for you, your family and the community at large.

  9. Church leaders or Satan worshippers cannibals? Some people can boast that they will call God name to get what they want but do not believe there is a God. They Can even give reasons why God do not exist. take warning church goers., take warning.

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