Manche links Covid to the mark of the beast – Dun Rene warns against dangerous theories

In Malta, 92% of the population is completely vaccinated against Covid-19. Despite these figures there is a movement which still doubts the science and is resisting the measures against Covid.

Among the arguments by the sceptics there are religious theories which for theologist Dun Renè Camilleri are fundamentalist ideas, while for Prof Anthony Serracino Inglottt, science is the truth and pointed out that those who do not get the vaccine are causing harm to humanity.

Dun Rene Camilleri has warned of the dangers of fundamentalist theories and those who link the chapters of the Bible with the Covid vaccine, including that God will punish the world and only save those who were ‘courageous’ and did not get vaccinated.

“These are very dangerous ideas because this is not an issue of freedom of expression or religious freedom. It is a very abusive interpretation of the Bible and we cannot turn back the clock and get into a debate between what science has provided us with, and faith. Whenever science and faith battled each other, it only caused damage. This is the result of fundamentalism: that if I am sick I go up on the roof and expect everything to fall into my lap,” said Dun Rene.

Over the last few months the Evangelist organisation River of Love found itself part of the moment which doubts science, the effectiveness of the vaccine and the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic. On TIKTOK leading members of the organisation are spreading the theories which have linked the vaccine to chapters in the Bible which speak about the end of the world.

Interviewed on the programme Carter Jirrapporta on Wednesday,  Pastor Gordon John Manche linked the relaxation of the measures only for those who are vaccinated to what is written in the Apocalypse, the mark of the beast, in other words the mark of the devil which will distinguish between those who will be saved and those who will be thrown into the abyss of hell.

However, for those who remember past epidemics including polio, such as Prof Serracino Inglott, today’s arguments which bring religion into the mix, are not new.

“I remember the scepticism about the polio vaccine, when they came to vaccinate us, there were many who did not want to take it even though we had seen the devastating effects of polio on some people in Malta. I think there was an even greater resistance than there is against the Covid vaccine,” he recalled.

In fact, just when Edward Jenner came out with the first vaccine in history in 1796 against smallpox, the movement against vaccines also began.

From the pulpit, members of the clergy began arguing against the vaccine, saying that it goes against the word of God because it comes from animals. Others also linked Jenner’s vaccine to the mark of the beast which is mentioned in the Scriptures.

The opposition was not only a religious one, as there were those who objected to the vaccine because they said  it restricts their personal freedom, and they even formed an organisation to oppose the Government when it made the smallpox vaccine mandatory.