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Online bible search trends suggest an increase in vaccine-hesitant Christians

They're equating medicine with sorcery now

Bible Gateway is a searchable online Bible boasting more than 200 editions in 70 languages, as well as audiobooks and study guides. Jonathan Petersen, the content manager for the site, says he was intrigued to find that searches for "the words 'sorceries' and 'sorcery' increased from 2020 by 193%." He continues:

The increase in sorceries is related to heightened interest in the Greek word pharmakeia which, according to the Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament means “employment of drugs for any purpose; sorcery, magic, enchantment” as used in Galatians 5:20.

As Emily McFarlan Miller of Religion News Service points out, the definition of pharmakeia has been twisted to justify the anti-vax stance of a certain type of superstitious Christian:

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In a March 25 video, [conspiracy theorist Sherri] Tenpenny took aim at pastors, priests and rabbis who closed their houses of worship during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and later opened them as vaccination centers, “pleasing the pharmakeia, the sorcerers, no doubt,” she said. In an April 8 video, she again mentioned church leaders opening their sanctuaries to “sorcerers” to administer COVID-19 vaccines, which she believes are “experimental genetic modification tools” that will “permanently mark” recipients.

Hard to say what this means exactly. Maybe it indicates that a minority of religious Americans have fallen into far-out superstitious and conspiracy beliefs. At least, we hope that they're in the minority!

SOURCE: Bible Gateway
VIA: Religion News Service