SALT LAKE CITY – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not grant religious exemption to COVID-19 vaccine warrants in California, says The Salt Lake Tribune Friday report.
The issue was raised because California now requires vaccines for healthcare workers, teachers and others.
The Tribune reports that some California members of the faith (headquartered in Salt Lake City) have called on their local leaders to support their employers’ requests for religious waivers.
The Tribune obtained a letter written by the church’s area presidency to local leaders in California, telling them not to sign such faith-based exemption requests.
“No church official can sign any document supporting the idea that church doctrine / teaching is opposed to immunization or that the church is opposed to immunization mandates,” it read. part in the letter. “For the first, the opposite is true [the church not only supports but also encourages vaccination]; as for the latter, the Brothers [top officials] have not taken a position.
Last month the Top Church Leaders Urged Members To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19.
And although a fundamental teaching of the faith is “free will” or the freedom to choose, the letter states that this “does not provide a religious basis for disobeying the law or requiring special exemptions from it.”
The letter even says that if leaders sign such exemptions, it could be considered perjury.