Religion at the root of measles outbreak
HEALTH authorities in Canada are battling an outbreak of measles spread from a “Bible-belt” region of the country where parents refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated.
Two students from the Mount Cheam Christian School in Chilliwack contracted the disease and were sent home – but not before exposing others. More than 100 students are suspected of having the disease.
School officials shut the school a week early for March break.
Speaking for members of the 1,200 string Reformed Congregation of North America, the Rev Adriaan Geuze said:
Members of our congregation do not believe vaccinations are safe. They are worried about administering vaccines to our children and vaccination does not automatically mean you are immune to the disease.
He went further with his lunacy in this report:
We leave it in (God’s) hands. If it is in his will that somehow we get a contagious disease, like in this case the measles, there are other ways, of course, to avoid this. If (we get sick), he can also heal us from it.
Asked if he actively advises his congregants not to vaccinate their children, Geuze responded:
Of course I openly express my own point of view according to the Bible, absolutely. But it’s not that we force them. It’s through their own conscience that they have to act. They expect that from me, that in a clear way I lay it all before them.
A vaccination rate of 95 per cent is necessary for community immunity to measles to work. In the East Fraser region, vaccination rates are about 60 to 70 per cent.
Note: The poster used to illustrate this report was created after an outbreak of measles at Kenneth Copeland’s Texas megachurch last summer which has a reputation for preaching against the use of vaccines.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn