Government and healthcare workers are braving a superstitious onslaught in the north-eastern states, which they have termed as “vaccine hesitancy”. A few Christian groups and churches are fuelling vaccine hesitancy in the Northeast, endangering the lives of the people, various media houses have reported.
During the Sunday mass and on other Christian occasions of prayer, these groups discourage believers from getting the vaccine. They claim “prayers” and some herbs would be enough to “cure” the virus of Chinese origin.
Meanwhile, The New Indian Express has reported that the Eastern Zion Healing Ministry had ‘prophesized‘ in January that mass vaccination to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic “was not the will of God”. They advocate against vaccination, the report says.
“Through the vaccination, the mark of the ‘beast’ will come, which will follow biochip/microchip containing the number of the beast”The ‘prophecy’
The report says further that the churches have announced that those getting vaccinated will be denied entry into Christ’s millennium kingdom.
The same group had reportedly made similar prophecies earlier. In 2018, the group had said that the Aadhaar card and Rubella vaccines were “against the will of God”.
Similarly, Christian groups are creating vaccine hesitancy among the populace in Meghalaya by linking vaccines to ‘evil forces’ as they did with Aadhaar earlier. They had said the UIDAI card was akin to “being marked by the devil”.
The Christian groups are telling their followers in Manipur that they would be saved only by the Bible and not vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is particularly higher in Christian-dominated hilly areas of the North East.
OpIndia says, “Earlier in May 2021, soon after the five-day Church revival camp was held in April, the test positivity in Nagaland rose to 13%. In the event, which turned up to be a super spreader event, 45 out of 69 people tested positive for COVID, with a 65% positivity”.