St. Louis faith leaders encouraging worshippers to get vaccinated

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Jordan Palmer

St. Louis area faith leaders— including Rabbi Amy Feder, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel and President of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association—are joining together to encourage vaccination among St. Louis area worshippers. In an approximately 2.5-minute video, various leaders tout vaccination as the quickest, safest way to come back together, serve one another, and protect others.

“Vaccination means freedom,” says Rev. Rodrick Burton, Senior Pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, “freedom to serve your community, to interact in the community, to protect other people.”

Those who appear in the video include Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski (the Archdiocese of St. Louis), Rev. Burton (New Northside Missionary Baptist Church), Rabbi Amy Feder (Temple Israel; St. Louis Rabbinical & Cantorial Association), Imam Muhamed Hasic (Islamic Community Center), Rev. Gabrielle NS Kennedy (Buren Chapel AME Church; Faith & For the Sake of All).

“We know that all religions exist so they can help us figure out how to live in a just and healthy society together,” said Rabbi Feder.

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Religious communities have an important role to play in overcoming the different barriers to getting vaccinated. The religious representatives offer a safe return to practices, rituals, and community as motivation for unvaccinated worshippers. The video urges viewers to find out more about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and where to get it at MOStopsCovid.com.

“[By getting vaccinated] we are looking out not only for self, but looking out for neighbor,” says Archbishop Rozanski.

As part of its larger effort to educate religious communities about the vaccine and encourage vaccination, the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis is distributing educational materials to dozens of religious groups and organizations in 11 different languages and created a website that includes different religious perspectives on vaccination.

The video is being distributed to religious communities throughout the St. Louis metro area and broadcast on social media platforms, with emphasis on houses of worship in areas of St. Louis City and St. Louis County with low vaccination rates.