The Hernandes couple’s statement is in line with what Bishop Edir Macedo said, in the same month of March, in a live. “My friend and my friend, don’t worry about the coronavirus. Because that is Satan’s tactic, or one more tactic. Satan works with fear, dread.”
On March 18 this year, Edir Macedo, 76, and his wife Esther Bezerra, 72, leaders of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, were vaccinated. A week later, the couple Estevam Hernandes, 67, and Sônia Hernandes, 62, leaders of Renascer em Cristo, also had the opportunity to be immunized.
The couples were vaccinated in Florida, in the United States, and not in Brazil.
When these statements were made by Hernandes and Macedo, Brazil closed March 2020 with 5,717 confirmed cases of infected with the new coronavirus and 201 deaths. Here we are, a year later, with more than 320 thousand dead, and daily records that increase successively.
They are responsible, insofar as they could have embraced a forceful awareness, instead of embarking on Jair Bolsonaro’s resistance to the real risks of the pandemic and its rapid advance. Their power of influence comes at a price, and their silence now, benefiting from foreign vaccination cannot be made invisible
Today we know that the main mistakes in the management of the pandemic, which made us get here, are in its first months, where measures could have been decisive, including the initiative to acquire vaccines and think about a vaccination plan for the future.
The first months were also decisive for the irresponsible attitude of many evangelical leaders, including Macedo and Hernandes.
Under the weight of neglecting the weight of his influence, Hernandes cannot ignore how many people carry, due to his statement, two frustrations: the illness or death in his family, and the disappointment that, being a believer and faithful, he did not have authority or faith ‘enough’ not to be hit by the virus
“Above all, above vaccines, I believe in the healing power of Jesus Christ,” said Estevam Hernandes in the same video.
When the piles of dead have accumulated, and continue to accumulate, and the government is unable to respond to the situation, Hernandes chose to anticipate the vaccine, in case the “Jesus healing power” did not arrive in time.
This was probably the same reasoning as Macedo, who realized that the coronavirus, killing more than 3,000 Brazilians a day, needed concern. The privilege came on the scene. They have ensured their health and survival while the overwhelming majority of their herd has no alternative.
It is difficult to imagine that today, in Brazil, in some Universal or in a temple of Renascer em Cristo, there is not a member lamenting the loss of someone. For many of them, the vaccine does not even appear on the horizon, the food is disappearing from the pantry and the alternatives are coming to an end. A reality without food and without a bed.
These leaders were emblematic of a pastoral leadership that has contributed to the ruin in which Brazil is facing the pandemic. Repentance is one of the crucial elements for Christianity and for accepting Jesus’ message.
It is indescribable what these men represent, when they do not regret having minimized in the name of a supposed faith in God, an announced tragedy that, it seems, will still cost the lives of thousands of Brazilians.
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