CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – There have been many conspiracies and rumors surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and one has religious people thinking that taking the vaccine will harm them.
Among that group are people who say the vaccine is the “Mark of the Beast.”
The phrase “Mark of the Beast” can be found in the chapter of Revelation in the Bible. Some Christians believe if they get the vaccine, they will be marked for hell, but some pastors are trying to stop those rumors.
“This mark of the beast is not a mark, a literal mark that we take in a gradual unfolding of God’s plan until the end of the earth. It’s a symbolic way of John saying are you a believer or not?” Jamie Strickler, Pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church said.
Due to the year’s past events, some Christians may believe Jesus is coming back soon.
“We got social unrest almost look like with the George Floyd thing; things are just blowing up, you have the presidential election, you had a pandemic that was not just located in one city or one state,” Bishop Robert Haley, Pastor at A More Excellent Life Center Church, said.
Haley says when life seems to be in turmoil, people often turn to their church for the truth.
“So easily people can think is okay the next thing they going to want to do is give us a little card that we’re going to have to show every place we go and from that you know it’s playing into the mind that eventually they’re going to put a chip in us and that’ll be the mark of the beast,” Haley said.
Pastor Strickler says there’s no biblical evidence to support the vaccine claims.
“The idea that the mark of the beast is the vaccination is not scripturally rooted anywhere in the valid translation of Christian history,” Strickler said.
Haley says in the Bible pandemics were called plagues, and plagues run their course and then move on.
“When people start processing that and thinking that you know, they’re going to give us this shot and it’s going to change us and every day your body changes, every time you breathe in it affects your immune system, it affects your DNA, it affects everything else.”
To set an example, both pastors have been fully vaccinated and encourage others to do the same.