Church leaders tell Boris Johnson: do not introduce Covid-19 vaccine passports

(Photo: Unsplash/Marisol Benitez)

Growing fears among church leaders that the Government is soon to introduce Covid-vaccine passports are  attracting more signatories to an open letter to the Prime Minister opposing the move.

The organisers report that more than 1,800 Christian leaders have now added their names to the letter to Boris Johnson.

The campaign says signatories have doubled since the letter was first produced in April with hundreds having signed up in recent weeks "as fears increase that the scheme will be brought in by Westminster".

One of the organisers, Rev Dr William Philip of the Tron Church, Glasgow, said: "The issue is now more pressing. Whereas back in April when we issued it at first, there were denials that there were any plans for this, now it looks certain the Government will bring this to Parliament when it returns from recess.

"That the Government seems still to be moving towards imposing this draconian measure on our society suggests they are impervious to both medical and moral realities. "

In the letter to Mr Johnson the mainly evangelical church leaders say they "envisage no circumstances in which we could close our doors to those who do not have a vaccine passport, negative test certificate, or any other 'proof of health'.

"For the Church of Jesus Christ to shut out those deemed by the state to be social undesirables would be anathema to us and a denial of the truth of the Gospel.

"The message we preach is given by God for all people and consists in nothing other than the free gift of grace offered in Christ Jesus, with the universal call to repentance and faith in him."

The letter concludes: "To deny people entry to hear this life-giving message and to receive this life-giving ministry would be a fundamental betrayal of Christ and the Gospel.

"Sincere Christian churches and organisations could not do this, and as Christian leaders we would be compelled to resist any such Act of Parliament vigorously."

The signatories are mainly though not exclusively evangelical leaders in various denominations and church networks. They include Rev Alan McKnight, a board member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches; Rev Dave Gobbett, Highfields Church, Cardiff; Rev Alasdair Paine, Vicar, St Andrew the Great, Cambridge; Rev Paul Rees, Lead Pastor, Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh; Rev Mez McConnell, Director of the 20schemes and Acts29 national networks of churches; Patricia McKeever, Editor, Catholic Truth; and Dr Felicia Wong, Head of Doctors' Ministries, Christian Medical Fellowship.