Religious leaders question COVID-19 vaccine ethics

Four of Australia’s leading religious voices have written their concerns that the COVID-19 vaccine will be “ethically tainted” by fetal cells used during the development process.

The Oxford University vaccine, which is considered among the frontrunners in the race to ‘combat COVID-19’, has been developed from a kidney cell line taken from an aborted fetus.


Questioning vaccine development. Photo: GT


After much silence during the continued six month COVID-19 saga, religious leaders are finally beginning to add input to the conversation, particularly surrounding the questions of vaccination.

Three of Australia’s most senior archbishops have recently written to Scott Morrison to raise concerns about the vaccine being developed at Oxford University, which they said made use of “a cell line cultured from an electively aborted human foetus”.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies and Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia Makarios Griniezakis, raised concerns about the deal with AstraZeneca that would ensure Australians would be among the first in the world to receive the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine.

The letter had three demands of the government: that the Oxford vaccine not be made mandatory, that people who decline it for religious beliefs not be punished and that the government ensure a different “ethically uncontroversial” vaccine also be made available.

The letter from the religious leaders said some Australians may be concerned “not to benefit in any way from the death of the little girl whose cells were taken and cultivated, nor to be trivialising that death, and not to be encouraging the fetal tissue industry.”.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils also signalled its “profound concern” over the use of foetal tissue in vaccine development. President Rateb Jneid urged Morrison to reconsider accessing such vaccines, but instead to invest into Australian research into ethical alternatives.

Vaccines in Australia use the human diploid cell lines, which are originally derived from human foetal tissue. Several licensed vaccines have been manufactured using this ingredient, including vaccines against rubella, hepatitis A, varicella (chickenpox) and rabies.

A cell line is a population of cells that is grown continuously in a laboratory for extended periods. Human diploid cell lines WI-38 and MRC-5, came from three abortions performed in the 1960s.

The vaccine being developed by Oxford University has similarly been developed from a kidney cell line (HEK-293) taken from an aborted foetus.

It is about time we have started to hear from religious leaders on this issue, as these institutions remain some of the best chances the public has of ensuring a COVID-19 vaccine remains optional. 


Whether you are a fan or religious institutions or not, it is important to understand that the fundamental concepts religious freedoms were based on — and the protections that come along with them — are very much needed as Australia continue through this unprecedented period.

With Morrison recently proclaiming he wants 95% of Australians to take a future COVID-19 vaccine, this will raise significant issues of freedom of religion.

For example, there is no recognised right to objection to vaccinations under Australian law. Therefore, any person who is not willing to be vaccinated cannot merely argue an ‘objection’ to it.

A religious body, however, may be able to argue a federal compulsory vaccination policy interferes with the freedom of religion protections under the Australian constitution.

The starting point in any discussion about religious freedom in Australia is Section 116 of the Australian Constitution:

“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

It should be noted that these prohibitions apply only to the Commonwealth, and not to the States. The Constitution contains no direct protection from State laws which may restrict religious freedom.

However, challenges could be made to any compulsory state COVID-19 vaccination policy under various human rights charters, especially in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT. These aim to protect rights such as freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion and belief.

Let’s not forget: One religious group did successfully claim an exemption to mandatory childhood immunisations in 2015 — the Christian Scientists.

As a result, ‘conscientious objection’ exemptions were removed in 2016. Despite this, it does provide an example of how religious organisations can influence the law.

Jews and Muslims also object to vaccines that contain pork products, for example. In 2018, Indonesia’s top Islamic body issued a fatwa, declaring that the rubella-measles vaccine was religiously prohibited (haram) because it contained “traces of pork and human cells”.

Indeed, religious institutions wield massive power and must use it for good during these times.

Senior religious figures in North America are currently raising similar ethical concerns across the continent, scientific research publication ScienceMag reported. Australian leaders must follow.

The input of religious organisations and leaders must not stop here. Writing concerned letters is just the beginning step. A very complex legal period approaches, in which everyone will be needed.


Concerns about the ingredients of vaccinations is an important avenue to take, as many are unaware of some of the concoctions that are used during vaccine manufacturing processes.

Even the Archbishop of Sydney is backtracking his comments by reassuring he will support an ethical alternative vaccine. He must be one.

However, it also seems as if religious leaders are overlooking another key element that was raised in their letter to the PM: Compulsory measures against the will of the people.

In a post to his Facebook fans, head of the Australian Christian Lobby — Martyn Illes — said that he was ‘assured by the government’ the vaccine will not be made mandatory. He used this opportunity to dismiss fears of his religious followers. This is a deception leaders must snap out of.

Although not ‘compulsory’, we are about to enter an era of mass vaccine coercion, in which all resources will be exhausted to ensure those who oppose have little options to choose from.

Mass coercion is no different to compulsory requirements in practice, yet religious leaders seem to be ignorant to the implications that punitive vaccine measures will have on society.

Australians are likely to face having their welfare payments withheld if they refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned.

Small business groups are also calling for workplaces to sack employees who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination when one becomes available in Australia.

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia has issued a proposal that includes a call to expand ‘No Jab, No Job’ restrictions beyond ‘high-risk workplaces’.

The enduring appeal of fascism is that it requires so little from people. So little independent thought, just their basic belief and adherence to a limited set of popularly-shared directives and narratives.

Continual propaganda is there to reassure society that they are complete, that they know all that is important to know and that the establishment is rational, pragmatic and moral. The science has been settled and we are all a part of something noble by following directives.

Propaganda is, of course, the life-blood of authoritarian control. Religious leaders must become aware of the full story now and not fall into the trap of establishment propaganda.

To move forward, it’s important the public works with religious leaders — not against them — to ensure Australia is equipped with a full arsenal of defence when a COVID-19 vaccine comes out.

This includes making them aware of the full dangers of this push. This also allows them to be called out with no excuses if they continue their inactivity on the subject.

Organisations must reclaim a dominant position over the modern scientific religious cult.


Religious leaders question ethics of Oxford University developing coronavirus vaccine using cell lines from aborted foetus | ABC News

AFIC concerned about the use of aborted foetus tissue in vaccines | Australian Federation of Islamic Councils

Federal Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief | Parliament of Australia

Could the coronavirus vaccine be mandatory in Australia? Experts say it’s possible | ABC News

Mass vaccine coercion is coming to Australia | TOTT News

Calls for businesses to sack vaccine objectors | TOTT News

Huxley and the Epsilon Agenda | TOTT News


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6 comments on “Religious leaders question COVID-19 vaccine ethics”

  1. Excellent article. You are right to call out the religious leaders for failing to condemn Forced Vaccinations. If they continue in this blatant failure and collusion with Anti-Christian government edicts, they should all be de-frocked.

  2. I without the slightest doubt will never wear a mask nor allow my body to be injected with a govt ordered substance. It’s never ever going to happen.
    President Danielle Andrews is delusional if he thinks everyone will be racing to the queue for their free injection & sausage sizzle!
    Having said that, I would like the queue of sheep to be live streamed around the world for all to see.

  3. I am Christian and am angry that it has taken the religious leaders until now to say anything. They are basically 50 years too late! I have been vaccinated as a child (against my will now I am an adult) with vaccinations containing aborted foetal cells and animal cells, mould etc.. I am also totally against the cruel animal use for testing. As a Christian, I believe God gave us an amazing immune system to nourish, and pumping toxic chemicals in our body is wrong. Where have the ‘leaders’ been the last 50 years?

    1. I think religion became politics with religious people becoming politicians a while back worldwide. From that time on the two (politics & religion) have been conveniently in bed together serving each other quest for influence. The consequence being a lessening of interest & value in religious perspectives when it comes to financial gains to be made through globalization. Sadly religious perspective is now in decline. Demolishing religious structures & beliefs (as is currently happening in China) & replacing them with political figures has seen dependence & focus shift to political figures.
      I think it’s too late to change that status quo but religions have at least realized their end is now politically motivated & I’m guessing religions will push back albeit with little or no effect.

  4. I personally don’t believe in compulsory elections nor mandatory vaccinations. But, unfortunately in Australia the former is enforced and it won’t surprise me if the latter will be too under the guise of “community health and safety.” I, for one, won’t be yielding myself to any COVID-19 vaccine, however. It’s my body, my choice! It’s a mockery of democracy when other countries like the UK and USA have free elections in that one has the freedom to choose whether to vote, but in Australia the government forces people to vote under penalty of a fine! The right to vote is a right not an obligation! And with the “No jab. No pay” bribe of recent years it only adds to the increasing hypocrisy of our leaders who pay lip service to “democracy” and “freedom,” but then go ahead with anti-democratic, anti-freedom rules and policies! It’s like to defeat this viral enemy we’re turning into the Communist enemy it originated from, and thus into our own worst enemy!

    1. Democracy with Australian characteristics! Australia is as leftist a democracy there is. No commenting on commercial “news media” posts. Victorian police even beat citizens in exactly the same fashion as CCP does HK citizens.
      Slightly right winged communism is a more accurate description of the Australian political system.

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