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Statement: World religious leaders call for a people’s vaccine

27 April 2021

27 April 2021

As religious leaders, we have witnessed the personal stories behind the Covid statistics - we have, every day, heard the cries, shared with us, of the suffering, the frightened, and the bereaved. 

We have witnessed too the profound love shown by those working at the frontline, and by those who have reached out to help their neighbours. 

The Covid crisis has reminded us all of our interdependence, and of our responsibilities to care for one another. We can each only be safe when all of us are safe. If one part of the world is left to suffer the pandemic, all parts of the world will be put at ever-increasing risk. 

The access of people to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines cannot be dependent on people’s wealth, status, or nationality. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our sisters and brothers by imagining that the market can be left to resolve the crisis or pretend to ourselves that we have no obligation to others in our shared humanity. Every person is precious. We have a moral obligation to reach everyone, in every country.

Right now, despite the incredible success in developing so many safe and effective vaccines in record time, and the relief of seeing them being rolled out, with deaths starting to decline as a result, it pains us greatly that access to the vaccines is so inequitable. Rich countries have been able to ramp up vaccination efforts and secure doses whilst in most low- and middle-income countries vaccines are only beginning to trickle in. At the current pace of vaccine production and distribution, people in much of the world may not be vaccinated until at least 2024. The consequences for the poorest individuals, families, and communities, will be devastating. 

Neglect would undermine the dignity not only of those left behind, but also of those who have left them behind. 

This unprecedented public health crisis calls, above all, for global solidarity, for all people to stand together as brothers and sisters. The same spirit of unity and common purpose that has driven scientists to develop Covid-19 vaccines at breathtaking speed, that drives the care of those tending to the sick, must also inspire the leaders of government, civil society and the private sector to massively ramp up vaccine production so there are sufficient doses for every person in the world to be vaccinated. 

We call on all leaders to reject vaccine nationalism and embrace a commitment to global vaccine equity. 

As religious leaders, we join our voices to the call for vaccines that are made available to all people as a global common good – a People’s Vaccine. This is the only way to end the pandemic.

Let us work together to build a more just and peaceful world.

To love is to take action. 


1.                   Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President, Sojourners

2.                   Imam Ahmed Ghanem, Göteborg mosque, Gothenburg, Sweden

3.                   The Most Revd Dr Albert Chama, Archbishop of Central Africa and Chair of the Anglican Alliance

4.                   Adrian Cristea, Executive Officer, Dublin City Inter-faith Forum

5.                   Ann Scholz, SSND, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)

6.                   His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London

7.                   Anthony Nanson

8.                   Avera Health

9.                   Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Netherlands

10.               Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ - Provincial of the Austrian Province of the Society of Jesus

11.               Blessing Makwara, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe

12.               The Revd Canon Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

13.               Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, President of the Board at Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

14.               Rev. Brian D. McLaren, USA

15.               Brigid Lawlor, Province Advocacy Liaison, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces

16.               The Rev. Cn. Bruce W. Woodcock, Asia and the Pacific Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Church

17.               Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

18.               Rev. Charles Berahino, Executive Secretary for Peace and Diakonia at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

19.               Rev. Chris Hudson, Moderator, Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Ireland

20.               Christopher Cox

21.               The Rev. Christopher Frye, St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chambersburg, PA

22.               Revd Clare Downing, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

23.               The Rev. Clelia P. Garrity, LCSW, Diocesan Missioner for Global Refuge Missions

24.               Rev. Colin Holtz, President, Faithful America Board of Directors

25.               Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Salvation Army Territorial Commander, United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland 

26.               Revd Duncan Dormor, General Secretary, USPG

27.               Fr Damian Howard SJ

28.               Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Scholar in Residence, National Council of Jewish Women

29.               Bishop David Musumba, Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya

30.               Rev. Derrick Jones, Supervisor of RCA Mission programs in Africa

31.               Dominican Sisters, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

32.               Rev Dyfrig Rees, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Independents

33.               Eddy Ruble, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

34.               Edwin Graham, Coordinator, Northern Ireland Inter-faith Forum

35.               Sister Eileen Gannon, Sparkill, NY

36.               Elijah M. Brown, General Secretary, Baptist World Alliance

37.               Emmanuel Ahua

38.               Sr. Emily TeKolste, SP, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

39.               Rev. Erik Oland S.J., Provincial - Jesuits of Canada

40.               Esther Mombo

41.               Franck Janin, President, Jesuit Conference of European Provincials

42.               Franciscan Action Network

43.               Rev. Fredrick Gilbert

44.               Gustavo Calderón, S.J. Provincial de Ecuador - COMPAÑIA DE JESÚS

45.               Hazel Loney, Lay Leader, Methodist Church in Ireland

46.               Haider Ibrahim, Chairman, Islamic Shia communities in Sweden

47.               Rev. Hodari Williams, New Life Church, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

48.               Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Imam

49.               Very Revd Dr Ivan Patterson, President, Irish Council of Churches

50.               Rabbi Jacob Siegel

51.               The Rev. James L. Reisner

52.               Fr. Jan Roser SJ, Provincial

53.               Sr. Jane Herb, IHM Sisters of Monroe, Michigan - President

54.               Jason Miller, Franciscan Action

55.               Javier Perez, Director of Global Missions Programs & Impact, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

56.               Rev Jennifer Butler, Faith in Public Life

57.               Rev Dr Jennie Hurd, Chair of the Methodist Church Cymru Synod

58.               Jennifer Lau - Executive Director, Canadian Baptist Ministries

59.               P. Jesus Zaglul, Casa Generalicia de los jesuitas, Roma

60.               Jim Winkler, President, National Council of Churches

61.               Sr. Joan Mumaw IHM

62.               John Celichowski, OFM Cap., NAPCC Novitiate, Santa Ynez, CA

63.               Rev. John Chan, Canadian Baptist Ministries

64.               The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales

65.               Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh, Church of Ireland

66.               Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

67.               Rev. Canon Joseph P Collins

68.               The Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

69.               The Rev'd Fr. Johannes Mokgethi-Heath, Act Church of Sweden

70.               Rev. Julia Bowering, Canadian Baptist Ministries

71.               Rev Judith Morris, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Baptists

72.               Judith Toner, member NY State UCC Global Ministries Committee

73.               Judy Byron, OP, Inter-Community Peace & Justice Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

74.               D. Kang-San Tan, BMS World Mission

75.               Pastor Kay Woike, Church of the Nativity, United Church Of Christ

76.               Ven. Kofi deGraft-Johnson, CAPA Secretariat, Nairobi, Kenya

77.               Dr. Krish Kandiah, Greater Good Global

78.               Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Former Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism

79.               Dr. Lauren Jinshil Oliver, founder,

80.               Lawrence Couch, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

81.               Lawrence Gilley, United Church of Christ, Deansboro, New York, USA

82.               Dr. Lesmore Gibson, All Africa Conference of Churches

83.               The Most Reverence Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

84.               Louise Hannem, Canadian Baptist Ministries

85.               Janice Tsang, Co-convenor of the Anglican Health & Community Network (AHCN)

86.               Lucas Lopez Perez SJ, del equipo de la Conferencia de Provinciales Jesuitas de Amerrica Latina y el Caribe

87.               Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr. President Emeritus Hispanic Clergy, President & CEO, Esperanza

88.               Rt Revd Luke Pato, Bishop of Namibia and Co-Convenor of the Anglican Health & Community Network

89.               Friar Marco Moroni, Sacro Convento of Assisi

90.               Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church

91.               Right Reverend Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

92.               Mary Ellen Holohan,Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Member of Congregational Leadership Team

93.               Rt Revd Dr Michael Beasley, Bishop of Hertford and Co-Convener of Anglican Health & Community Network

94.               Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte OFM

95.               Mohamed Temsamani, Chairman of United Islamic Associations of Sweden

96.               Archbishop Mouneer Anis

97.               Margaret Rose, The Episcopal Church

98.               Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International

99.               Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, General Secretary, Lutheran World Federation

100.           Mary J. Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

101.           Rev. Maxwell Doss - General Secretary, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka

102.           Merritt Johnston, Baptist World Alliance

103.           Rev. Nathan Empsall, Executive Director of Faithful America

104.           Nathan Jones, Oasis Waterloo

105.           Nick Park, Executive Director, Evangelical Alliance Ireland

106.           Rabbi Nora Feinstein

107.           Patricia Millen, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

108.           Bishop Paul Horan, Diocese of Mutare, Zimbabwe

109.           Paul Parker, Quakers in Britain

110.           Peter Pay, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

111.           Sister Pegge Boehm, PBVM, Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM of Aberdeen SD

112.           Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

113.           Sister Quincy Howard, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

114.           Rev. Randy Stanton

115.           Rebecca Linder Blachly, Director, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

116.           Revd Richard Teal, President of the Methodist Conference

117.           Richard Walters, The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Inc.

118.           Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism

119.           Roberto Jaramillo Bernal, S.J., Presidente de la Conferencia de Provincias, Jesuitas de America Latina y El Caribe

120.           Sr. Rose Marie Jasinski, CBS

121.           Dr. Rowan Williams, UK

122.           Sacro Convento of Assisi

123.           Rt Revd Sarah Groves, Moravian Church

124.           Rev. Fr. Seamus Finn OMI, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate- US Province

125.           Sheila Katz, CEO National Council of Jewish Women, USA

126.           Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

127.           Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Leadership

128.           Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team

129.           Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

130.           Rev. S.J.Wilson, Atlanta GA

131.           Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley, Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church

132.           Susan Gunn, MaryKnoll Office for Global Concerns

133.           Rabbi Suzan E. Lipson

134.           Rev. Sylvestre BIZIMANA, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Burundi

135.           Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA

136.           Fr. Ted Penton, SJ, Secretary of Justice and Ecology, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US

137.           The Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town

138.           Rev Dr Tom McKnight, President, Methodist Church in Ireland

139.           Bishop Venson Shava

140.           Vicky Heslop, Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre

141.           Wanda M Lundy, Siloam-Hope First Presbyterian Church/ New York Theological Seminary

142.           Rev. Wayne A. Laws, Minister of Social Justice & Mission at Mountain View United Church

143.           Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and Chair of the Trócaire Board of Directors

144.           Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Curia Generalizia, Rome

145.           Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director, Center for Islam and Public Policy