Zimbabwe activists preach vaccines to worshipers

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The herald

Activists in Zimbabwe have tried to persuade hesitant members of apostolic faith groups to get vaccinated against COVID-19, amid widespread misinformation.

“It’s a very big challenge, this question of vaccination. People get misleading information, especially from social media, about immunization, ”activist Yvonne Binda said.

Binda and her colleague, Alexander Chipfunde, spoke to a congregation dressed in immaculate white robes in Seke, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Harare, telling them not to believe what they heard about the beatings. Covid-19.

Apostolic groups that infuse traditional beliefs into Pentecostal doctrine are among the most skeptical

Zimbabwe when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, with an already strong distrust of modern medicine.

Many devotees put their faith in prayer, holy water, and anointed stones to ward off or heal disease.

There has been little detailed research on apostolic churches in Zimbabwe, but UNICEF studies estimate that they are the largest religious denomination with around 2.5 million followers in a country of 15 million .

Conservative groups adhere to a doctrine requiring followers to avoid medication and medical care and instead seek healing through their faith.

More than 80 percent of Zimbabweans identify as Christians, according to the national statistics agency, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to convincing reluctant religious citizens to get vaccinated.

While the warrants – no vaccine, no entry rule – might work for some churches, another

approach may be necessary for apostolic groups, which generally worship outside.

Binda is one of nearly 1,000 members of various religious groups recruited by the Zimbabwean government and UNICEF to try to smoothly change attitudes towards vaccines within their own churches.

While slow and steady might be the best for dealing with some religious hesitation, the situation is urgent in Africa, which has the lowest vaccination rates in the world.

Zimbabwe has fully immunized 15 percent of its population, far better than many other African countries, but still far behind the United States and Europe.

Addressing an audience of worshipers on Sunday, the country’s deputy health minister praised the economic benefits of getting bitten.

“Once we are vaccinated, our economy will open up to full speed,” he said. – Source Africa News

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