Representational image | Brett Sayles | Pexels
Representational image | Brett Sayles | Pexels
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New Delhi: Among the 67,400-odd Covid-19 deaths in the US, dozens of them have been of Christian preachers who downplayed the pandemic and encouraged their flock to attend service, ignoring the government’s social-distancing guidelines.

Most of the dead pastors and bishops hail from the ‘Bible Belt’, which includes states such as Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia among others.

While many conservative religious denominations have lost their leaders, the worst hit has been the African American community, especially the country’s biggest African American Pentecostal congregation called the Church of God in Christ, which saw 30 bishops and senior clergymen die.

According to reports, in areas where the Church of God has a presence, most deaths came from church meetings held by the clergy and their staff during the pandemic and funerals, which are attended en masse.

Behind these deaths of clergymen lie a fundamental clash between religion and sound healthcare policies.

As the pandemic engulfed the US, a large part of the country’s Christian Right continued to claim that coronavirus was a hoax and could be defeated by supernatural means, instead of ensuring proper healthcare.

Now, many Bible Belt states have a large number of Covid-19 cases. Texas and Louisiana, with over 30,000 and 29,000 cases respectively, lead the pack.


Also read: Louisiana pastor, arrested once for defying stay-home orders, continues with church service


‘Forget the pandemic, attend Church meetings’

Bishop Gerald Glenn, founder and head of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, set up in 1995, had taken a vow that he would continue to preach “unless I’m in jail or the hospital”, reported the Independent.

He died on 11 April. Just days before, he told his congregation, “God is larger than this dreaded virus.”

Most congregations have now closed their churches and the clergy have instructed their followers to abide by the “stay-and-pray-at-home” orders. But recent polling by US’ Religion News Service shows that about 20 per cent of churchgoers are still being encouraged to attend church meetings, and about 17 per cent continue do so.

In early March, Texas preacher Kenneth Copeland told believers on Victory Channel, a network set up by his ministries, that the novel coronavirus was a “weak strain of the flu” and fearing it was an act of sin.

“Fear is a spiritual force. Fear is not OK. It is sin. It is a magnet for sickness and disease … You are giving the devil a pathway to your body,” he said.

Another report by the country’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showed how religious events have acted as super spreaders in the US. Many clergymen have continued to encourage religious gatherings such as funerals, which have led to “significant transmission”, the report said.


Also read: Trump seeks to blame China for US coronavirus outbreak, but retaliation seems unlikely


Right-wing politicians make matters worse

The claims of coronavirus being a hoax and calls of continued religious service by the Christian clergy have also received political cover from several Republican politicians hailing from the Bible Belt.

Roy Moore, a pastor and former Alabama Supreme Court judge, who was unsuccessfully backed by US President Donald Trump in the Alabama Senate race, announced that he would write to his fellow pastors encouraging them to “continue church assemblies”.

But isn’t just state-level politicians encouraging churchgoers to flout social-distancing.

Mitch McConnel, the Republican Senate Majority Leader — the country’s top legislative position — had intervened and berated Louisville’s mayor for discouraging people from packing up churches during Easter. “Religious people should not be singled out for disfavoured treatment,” McConnel had said.

Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city, and is at the heart of the country’s Bible Belt.

“The right to worship has emerged as one of the chief battles within the looming culture war brought on by the coronavirus, dramatically emphasising the outsized role of fringe American conservatism across the US and in the White House,” noted the Independent report.


Also read: ‘Extremely unusual’ if Covid patients don’t develop antibodies, top US scientist Fauci says


 

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9 Comments Share Your Views

9 COMMENTS

  1. Covid19 can be healed by strong faith in Jesus Christ by prayer only or If your faith is small in Jesus Christ use fasting and prayer to strengthened your faith by following the teaching of Jesus christ with his disciple James ( read James 2:14 – 26 faith without work is dead ) so work your faith with fasting by missing 1 meal in a day for Jesus heal and you will be healed according to your faith

  2. This Corona “outbreak” isn’t even a real thing. Do NOT stay home. Do NOT wear masks 24/7 & ignore pretty much anything you see about covid. The death toll is extremely inflated with false information. I’ve been disregarding this thing from the beginning and plan to continue following suit.

    • The problem is that there has been so much mis-reporting on the data. Example: A morgue worker told me to my face that he gets report #1 from the hospital that says the person died of normal causes (stroke/old age). Then, the next day, he gets another report on the SAME person WITH THE SAME ADDRESS saying the cause of death was Covid 19. What is up with that? Two nurses had told my friend the same thing. My neighbor, director of a hospital, said the data is misleading. Everyone knows if they speak up their jobs are in jeopardy. But, if you watch the internet, people are speaking up. Bottom line, the American people are losing TRUST in the top. To lie is still a sin according to most people.

  3. I’m board, so… let’s see how many people I can piss off with one comment. Also, even though these are all controversial, all the statements I’m about to make are 💯 truths.

    1. This Corona🍺 “outbreak” isn’t even a real thing. Do NOT stay home. Do NOT wear masks 24/7 & ignore pretty much anything you see about 🍺. The death toll is extremely inflated with false information. I’ve been disregarding this thing from the beginning and plan to continue following suit.

    2. Monogamy is the only valid form of sex. Open relationships are toxic. Relationships are ONLY 2 people. Anything more than two people is NOT a valid relationship…PERIOD!

    3. ANY form of abortion is murder. It is not a womans right to have one. And those who who have them after having consensual sex are the worse garbage out there. Those people should have the death penalty.

    4. Marijuana should 💯 be legalized all the way. Also driving while high shouldn’t be illegal either. Despite the myths and stigma around weed it doesn’t inhibit most people. I say most because there are some rare instances when and individual can’t handle it, which yeah I would say they either are not ready for or they are one of the few people with other conditions that might make them unable to, but most people are not impaired from weed.

    5. Open container laws for alcohol should be abolished. They make no sense anyway. I mean in Korea you can walk down the side walk drinking a beer. As long as you ain’t bugging anyone this should be allowed in my opinion. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  4. ASSALAM O ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH WA BARKATOHU !

    मैं, हकीम मो अबू रिज़वान, बी यू एम एस, आनर्स(बी यू), (यूनानी चिकित्सक, यूनानी मेडिसींस रिसर्च सेंटर, जमशेदपुर झारखंड) 1992 ई में राजकीय तिब्बी कालेज पटना से पास आउट हूं, और उस समय से अबतक लगातार सिर्फ और सिर्फ यूनानी पद्धति द्वारा मरीजों का इलाज करता आ रहा हूं। यानी इस प्रोफेशन में लगभग 27-28 वर्षों का तजुर्बा हो चुका है, और लाइफस्टाइल डीज़ीज़, वायरल डीज़ीज़ वगैरह के ईलाज में काफी लंबा अनुभव रहा है।
    देश में इस महामारी से मैं भी आहत हूं, और अपने अनुभव से सहृदय समर्पित भाव से अपने देश की जनता की सच्ची सेवा करना चाहता हूं।
    ये तो बड़ी अच्छी बात है कि आयूष मंत्रालय की ओर से हम यूनानी पद्धति वालों को सेवा का मौक़ा दिया जा रहा है। जो स्वागत योग्य है। मुझे बड़ी खुशी होगी कि इस ग्रूप का मैं भी हिस्सा बनूं।
    आपको ये सुचित करते हुए अपार हर्ष हो रहा है कि मैं ने किसी अन्य वायरल डीज़ीज़ का ईलाज का प्रयोग अपने घर से लेकर बाहर तक के मरीजों पर आज़माया और नतीजा बेहतर मिला। कोई भी वायरल डीज़ीज़ हो उनको तीन दिनों में ही ठीक किया जा सकता है, ऐसा मैं अपने अनुभव से कहता हूं।
    इसलिए आप अगर चाहें तो मुझे इसकी ज़िम्मेदारी सौंपी जाए। ऐसा अस्पताल जहां कोरोनावायरस के मरीजों को रखा गया है वहां पर आपके द्वारा दी गई ज़िम्मेदारी सहर्ष सहृदय स्वीकार्य होगा।
    ये अलग बात है कि,
    हम भी छू सकते हैं सूरज की कलाई
    हम गरीबों को हिमायत नहीं मिलती।
    इस प्रकार की अपनी हार्दिक इच्छा मैं सभी माननीय मुख्यमंत्रियों को भी ईमेल के ज़रिए भेज चुका हूं कि अमुक तरीक़े से यूनानी पद्धति में बहुत ही आसान ईलाज शत् प्रतिशत संभव है।
    मेरे व्हाट्सएप से लगभग बीस हजार लोग जुड़े हैं जिनसे इस वायरल डीज़ीज़ (कोरोना वायरस) के ईलाज के बारे में पूरी पूरी जानकारी साझा करने में कोई कोर कसर नहीं छोड़ी है।सोशल मीडिया , फेसबुक और यूट्युब चैनल के द्वारा भी लोगों से इस कोरोनावायरस से बचाव और ईलाज साझा कर चुका हूं।
    आपके सामने मैं अपने ईलाज के तरीक़े पेश करने की हिम्मत कर रहा हूं। कोरोनावायरस या किसी भी वायरल डीज़ीज़ का अचुक इलाज का मैं आपके सामने दावा करने की कोशिश कर रहा हूं।

    कोरोनावायरस या किसी भी वायरल डीज़ीज़ से बचाव:-

    जब भी कभी इस तरह की महामारी का प्रकोप फैले तो आरंभ में ही इससे बचने हेतु उचित उपाय कर लिया जाए तो किसी को भी वायरल अटैक होगा ही नहीं। उसके लिए व्यक्ति को अपना “रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता” मज़बूत करने पर ध्यान देना चाहिए।उसका भी बहुत आसान तरीक़ा है।रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता को बढ़ाने के लिए नित्य प्रति दिन अपने भोजन में “विटामिन सी” की उचित मात्रा (0.2 ग्राम/दिन) नेचुरल तरीक़े से लें(गोली, कैप्सुल या सीरप कदापि नहीं)। इस के लिए आपको एक अमरूद, या दो मौसम्मी या दो संतरे या तीन आम या चार टमाटर (इनमें से कोई भी एक) रोज़ाना लें।
    (इस तरह ऐसा करके हम अपने शरीर के बाहर और अंदर मौजूद “डेन्ड्रिटिक सेल” को मज़बूत करते हैं जो हमारे अंदर प्रवेश करने वाले वाह्य हानिकारक जीवाणुओं जैसे :-बैक्टिरिया,पैथोजींस और वायरस से लड़ कर हमें सुरक्षित रखने में मदद करते हैं।)
    और कोई भी एनीमल प्रोटीन और डेयरी प्रोडक्ट्स से दूर रहें, यानी इस्तेमाल बिल्कुल ही नहीं करें।
    लाख टके का सवाल यह है कि इंसानी शरीर नेचर से निर्मित है। और जब इसके भीतर कोई परेशानी या बीमारियां उत्पन्न हो जाए तो उसे “नेचुरल विधि” ही ठीक करेंगी,न कि कोई केमिकल (ऐलोपैथिक दवाएं)। वायरस को कभी भी किसी भी दवा से नहीं मार सकते।
    सिर्फ यही वो तरिक़ा है जिससे उसे ख़त्म किया जा सकता है और शरीर के बाहर भी फेंका जा सकता है। इस बात का मैं ख़ास तौर पर उल्लेख करना चाहूंगा कि वायरल डीज़ीज़ कोरोना वायरस का यूनानी पद्धति से इलाज करने पर मरीज़ तीन या चार दिन में ही पूरी तरह सेहतमंद हो जाता है। मैं चाहूंगा कि आप मेरे इस प्रस्ताव को मंजूरी दें ताकि मुझे अपनी प्रतिभा साबित करने का अवसर मिले। इस बाबत मेरे पास हजारों पन्नों पर आधारित अनेकानेक रिसर्च पेपर्स बतौर साक्ष्य भी मौजूद हैं।

    श्रीमान,आशा करता हूं कि आप उल्लेखित बातों से सहमत हों। और मेरे इस प्रस्ताव को मंजूरी देने की कृपा करेंगे। निस्संदेह मैं अपने आप को देशसेवा में लीन हो कर ख़ुद को गौरवान्वित महसूस करूंगा।

    आपका विश्वासभाजन
    HAKEEM MD ABU RIZWAN
    BUMS,hons.(BU)
    UNANI PHYSICIAN
    Specialist in LIFESTYLE DISEASES

    पता:-
    UNANI MEDICINES RESEARCH CENTRE SHRUTI CHOWK PURANI BASTI ROAD JUGSALAI JAMSHEDPUR JHARKHAND INDIA-831006

    Contact No
    8651274288
    9334518872

    What’s App
    9334518872
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    E-mail:umrcjamshedpur1966@gmail.com
    YouTube Channel:- HAKEEM MD ABU RIZWAN

  5. America, turn back to God. You are supposed to be a holy nation. You were founded on the ‘Word of God.’ Remove the sin of – fornication, murder, sorcery, idol worship and homosexuality from your land. Our God abhors these things. It is igniting the wrath of God.Allow Christians to come out in the open to pray and ask for forgiveness, mercy and help from the Lord Our God and heal the land of America. Bring back the lost Christian heritage of America. Second coming of Jesus Christ is at the door!

  6. Just like their pals from the Tablighi Jamaat? Those boys made a name for themselves by spitting on doctors, misbehaving with nurses and sexually harassing female medical staff – after all the Tablighi Jamaat guys are really god fearing men.
    Well done boys, you make us really proud!

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