Amidst Rising Death Rates, Some Ukrainian Churches Proselytize For COVID-19 Vaccinations
With one of the world’s highest daily death rates from COVID-19, Ukraine, a predominantly Christian country, is hoping churches can convert more Ukrainians to a belief in vaccination. Barely 23 percent of Ukraine’s population of 44.13 million has been completely vaccinated; a rate that immunologists believe contributes to Ukraine now ranking third, after Russia and the United States, for confirmed daily coronavirus deaths (nearly 668 on November 22, 2021). To help improve those numbers, Kyiv’s Patriarchal Church of the Resurrection of Christ, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic sanctuary, has become the country’s first church-based vaccination center, while the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has held mass vaccinations of clergy. But not all believers share this faith. Among the naysayers is the Ukrainian branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, which holds religious services without face masks or social distancing.