What role (if any) does religion play with regard to trends in COVID-19 vaccination rates worldwide?

This is a wide and interesting topic. I share a few links, of multitudes that are available, regarding this topic at the current post.

At a comment at the end of a previous post, concerned with the history of Romania, I’ve shared links to three articles dealing with the relation between religious beliefs and COVID-19 vaccination rates. By way of bringing attention to the articles, I feature them here as content for a separate post.

A Nov. 7, 2021 New York Times article is entitled: “How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science.”

An excerpt (I’ve omitted embedded links, which can be found in the original text) reads:

To better understand this cultural division, I talked to Deborah Haarsma, an astrophysicist, a Christian and the president of BioLogos, an organization that explores the relationship between faith and science. In popular thought, she said, scientists and Christians are often slotted into “two different categories.”

It wasn’t always this way. At the outset of the Scientific Revolution, many scientists were motivated by their beliefs about God. Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and other giants of modern science were people of faith. But, after high-profile debates over Darwin’s theory of evolution in the late 19th century, a perceived division began to emerge between religion and science. In the spectacle of the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, which assessed, among other things, whether a state could prohibit the teaching of evolution in schools (but was also staged as a publicity stunt by town leaders in Dayton, Tenn.), Christian beliefs and science were set up as incompatible ideas.

It “is better to trust in the Rock of Ages,” wrote the prosecutor William Jennings Bryan, “than to know the age of the rocks.”

A Nov. 8, 2021 New York Times article is entitled: “In Romania, Hard-Hit by Covid, Doctors Fight Vaccine Refusal: An anti-vaccine clarion call by leading religious figures, echoed by prominent politicians and social media, helps explain why Romania now has the world’s highest Covid death rate.”

The article is of interest because it deals with the role that messaging plays with regard to nation-level decision making, in all parts of the world, in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations.

An excerpt (I’ve omitted embedded links) reads:

COPACENI, Romania — As a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic crashed over Eastern Europe last month, devastating unvaccinated populations, an Orthodox Church bishop in southern Romania offered solace to his flock: “Don’t be fooled by what you see on TV — don’t be scared of Covid.”

Most important, Bishop Ambrose of Giurgiu told worshipers in this small Romanian town on Oct. 14, “don’t rush to get vaccinated.”

The bishop is now under criminal investigation by the police for spreading dangerous disinformation, but his anti-vaccine clarion call, echoed by prominent politicians, influential voices on the internet and many others, helps explain why Romania has in recent weeks reported the world’s highest per capita death rate from Covid-19.

On Tuesday, nearly 600 Romanians died, the most during the pandemic. The country’s death rate relative to population is almost seven times as high as the United States’, and almost 17 times as high as Germany’s.

A related Nov. 8, 2021 New York Times article, also dealing with the relationship between messaging and decision making during the pandemic, is entitled: “U.S. Covid Deaths Get Even Redder: The partisan gap in Covid’s death toll has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.’

An excerpt (I’ve omitted embedded links) reads:

Some conservative writers have tried to claim that the gap may stem from regional differences in weather or age, but those arguments fall apart under scrutiny. (If weather or age were a major reason, the pattern would have begun to appear last year.) The true explanation is straightforward: The vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe Covid, and almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults.

Charles Gaba, a Democratic health care analyst, has pointed out that the gap is also evident at finer gradations of political analysis: Counties where Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote have an even higher average Covid death toll than counties where Trump won at least 60 percent. (Look up your county.)

As a result, Covid deaths have been concentrated in counties outside of major metropolitan areas. Many of these are in red states, while others are in red parts of blue or purple states, like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia and even California.

1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Please note: If you are a member of the Toronto Public Library, you will be able to access these New York Times articles online.


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