COVID deaths reach 200,000, Lutheran church in Brazil issues manifesto
Church Presidency calls for free vaccines for everyone
(LWI) - In Brazil, the new year began with the number of Coronavirus deaths reaching 200,000 sparking the Presidency of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) to issue a manifesto calling for “guaranteed free access to the COVID-19 vaccine for the entire Brazilian population.” The church reaffirmed its commitment to just action and Christ-like care for one another.
Two-hundred thousand deaths marked a dismal point on the chart of COVID-19 related deaths in Brazil. In the manifesto, IECLB leaders ask “How many deaths are needed to sensitize a person, to move a nation?” Indicating that many, including some political leaders, did not take seriously the “deadly potential of the new coronavirus.”
The manifesto states irresponsibility “in the face of the furor of the virus,” made the “death of thousands inevitable.”
However, the leaders say future deaths from COVID-19 can be prevented with broad vaccination in addition to social distancing and hygiene measures, declaring that guaranteed free access to the vaccine for the entire population is necessary in saving lives. In the open letter, church leadership acknowledges the complexity of such a process but states, “agility and efficiency will be the difference between life and death.”
Expecting difficult times in the year ahead, the IECLB reaffirmed its commitment to life and actions that reduce the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and an insistence to care for each other.
The letter concludes, “In the darkness of the pandemic, we will be light as we act responsibly, taking every precaution to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.”
In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IECLB offers ongoing courses for ordained and non-ordained ministers on how to accompany people who are mourning.