REDEEMED Christian Church of God (RCCG) general overseer Pastor Enoch Adeboye has announced that he will soon receive a Covid-19 vaccination to safeguard his health so he can continue preaching the gospel.
Pastor Adeboye’s RCCG is Nigeria’s largest evangelical church and is highly influential in a nation where religion holds unprecedented sway. Many Nigerian Christians and Muslins have refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine for religious reasons and will only do so when their clergymen and women give them the all clear to do so.
In a development that will now encourage millions of his followers to go and get vaccinated, Pastor Adeboye explained that he will receive vaccine for the sake of the gospel. Speaking yesterday during the monthly Holy Ghost Service programme of the church at the Redemption Camp along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Pastor Adeboye, 79, said God’s mercies have kept Nigerians all along and only those whose time to die had come died.
Pastor Adeboye added: “I have never said to you, don’t be vaccinated. You’ve never heard that from me. Rather than live in fear or doubt, get vaccinated. If you believe that getting vaccinated will put your mind at rest, then go ahead.
“If there are nations in the world that say that I cannot come to preach the gospel there because of vaccination, I will do anything for Jesus Christ. If vaccination or no vaccination is going to hinder me from doing the work God has called me to do, even if they ask me to be vaccinated 100 times, I will be vaccinated.
He, however, described as laughable, the move by some governors who made Covid-19 vaccination compulsory before people could attend church gatherings. Pastor Adeboye noted that such leaders were missing the point, saying that the number of vaccine jabs available in the country were not enough to go round.
Nigeria has so far recorded over 200,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 2,700 associated deaths since the index case of the virus was reported in the country in March 2020, according to statistics by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). With the number of cases and fatalities on the rise, the NCDC continues to urge Nigerians to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices as well as use masks in public to prevent transmission of the virus, which has been identified to move through droplets.
About 5m Nigerians have since received their first shots of Covid-19 vaccination while about 2m have completed their second doses as of at the end of September. However, Bishop David Oyedepo, the head of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, popularly known as Winners’ Chapel, has said that he will not take the Covid-19 vaccine jab, adding that he is not a guinea pig.