A New Orleans church sign encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations was defaced on Friday with a painted Bible verse “mark of the beast.”
No details were available of who spray-painted the changeable lettering sign that had been installed in front of First Grace United Methodist Church that read “Love Your Neighbor.” Get vaccinated ”.
The Bible verse “Revelation 13:17” which was painted across the sign reads: “And let no one buy or sell except he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Some Bible scholars recognize “beast” as a reference to the Antichrist and the mark mentioned in the verse is used to identify followers of the Antichrist, according to Fox8 Live.
Shawn Moses Anglim, the church’s pastor, posted photos of the vandalism on Facebook, including a photo showing “faith rather than fear” painted on the path past the church.
“There is a lot of anger out there… we have to pray for each other…” Anglim said on Facebook, referring to the disfigured signs. “Make today a day of prayer for those who live and see the world differently from you … ask God to help you sympathize with them, and turn the other cheek and continue to walk in the truth , faith and goodness … God loves you and you can’t help it. “
Later on Friday, Anglim posted on Facebook that members of the congregation had restored the signs and the trail.
The vandalism at First Grace United Methodist Church comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to spread nationwide, with some still strongly opposed to getting the COVID vaccine. A Texas GOP official died of COVID-19 just days after sharing a meme on Facebook criticizing the use of vaccines on Thursday.
H. Scott Apley, who was Dickinson’s city councilor and a member of the Republican executive committee in Texas, shared a screenshot of a tweet questioning the role and effectiveness of COVID vaccinations.
“In 6 months, we went from vax ending the pandemic – to you can still get COVID even if vaxxed – to you can transmit COVID to others even if vaxxed – to you can still die of COVID even if vaxxed – to unvaxxed kill the vaxxed “, can we read in the message.
The Delta variant, first identified late last year, has spread faster than any previous strain of COVID-19. It has increased infection rates in all states in the United States, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend universal mask wear again.
However, some scientists have already said News week that a worse-than-Delta COVID-19 variant could be on the horizon. Delta’s outbreak will get worse, according to Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who heads the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Anglim did not immediately respond to Newsweek asks for comments on the vandalism in his church.