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bahamaschristiancouncil

Saturday, May 21, 2022

bahamaschristiancouncil

Church of God Event Tied to Latest COVID-19 Deaths and Hospitalizations

Some congregants of the Church of God denomination in the Bahamas have died and others remain in the hospital after being infected with COVID-19 at a superspreader event.

Reports say the pentecostal denomination held a Youth Conclave at its William Johnson Auditorium earlier in the month, where all of its church branches attended.

The event became a hotspot for the infectious disease, which resulted in the spread among its congregants, which ultimately caused the closure of its branches for two weeks.

Vision of Hope Church of God in Yamacraw bore the brunt of infections. Reports say the church has since seen five deaths in its church as others are hospitalized at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Other infections remain among its varied branches.

Its Administrative Bishop Moses Johnson has said nothing publicly on the matter, except to post to social media stating “The Church of God Bahamas is praying for COVID-19 patients, covering the Church of God family and all health care workers.”

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has since limited worship service times in the country to one hour with 33% occupancy.

President of the Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander and Pastor of Mount Tabor Neil Ellis have criticized the measure stating that government should not dictate to the church the number of hours spent at a facility.

Health officials reported 132 new cases on Thursday, and 88 new cases were reported on Wednesday. There are presently 1723 active cases in the country.

Photo credit: Taken from social media, showing the congregation at its 66th Annual Youth Conclave

US Embassy’s Dogged Determination to Fly LGBT Flag After Rebuke

After widespread attention and public debate on the recent hoisting of a Pride Flag at the US Embassy Down Town and at its Chief of Mission Residence on Sanford Road, the US Embassy in the Bahamas is doubling down on its posture to fly the controversial flag.

In a Facebook post uploaded Wednesday afternoon, the embassy says, “The United States believes that all human beings, regardless of who they are or who they love, deserve dignity and respect, and to be free of fear, stigma, and discrimination.”

The video shows Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts holding the LGBT Pride flag as another Pride flag and a US flag billows from a pole outside of its embassy.

This comes after the Bahamas Christian Council called its actions a “bullish agenda of forcing other nations to accept their social experiments,” adding that the US is “insensitive to the moral and ideological position,” of the Bahamas.

Public reactions have been widespread, some in support of the move and others have opposed it, standing in agreement with the Bahamas Christian Council.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in President Joe Biden’s administration authorized U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world to fly Pride flags, on the same pole as the American flag at embassies and consulates.

This marks a move by President Biden to overturn a ruling by Former President Donald Trump which mandated that the American flag should not be flown with other flags.

Christian Council Condemns US Pride Flag at Embassy

The Bahamas Christian Council is denouncing a recent move by the US Embassy to fly the Pride Flag at its US Embassy at its Down Town office and at its Chief of Mission Residence.

In a press statement released late Tuesday evening, the BCC said the actions of the US Embassy are “insensitive to the moral and ideological position of this country regarding the lifestyle of homosexuality.”

The BCC says it fears that the raising of the Pride Flag at its embassy can influence the country’s social and political arena and result in “diplomatic bullying.”

“We believe that all foreign diplomats should appreciate how offensive it is to attempt to impose their ideology unto other nations as they will never stand for us to do the same in their country. This is a matter of respect and diplomatic assault upon the consciousness of our Bahamian society.”

Why it matters

The Bahamas prides itself in its Judeo-Christian values, where Christianity remains the largest religion that teaches the traditional family structure.

Mainstream sentiments largely oppose homosexuality.

However, the US Embassy said it is honoring the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons in the Bahamas and around the world for the entire month of June, which is celebrated as LGBTQI+Pride Month in the United States.

The big picture

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in President Joe Biden’s administration, authorized U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world to fly Pride flags, on the same pole as the American flag at embassies and consulates.

Blinken  however, noted that it was not a requirement, stating that the Chiefs of mission “determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.”

President Biden overturned a ruling by Former President Donald Trump which mandated that the American flag should not be flown with other flags, but alone.

BCC Executives Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

President of the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) Bishop Delton Fernander and First Vice-President Pastor Mario Moxey received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday after presenting a report stating that the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the disadvantages.

First Vice-President Pastor Mario Moxey gets inoculated.

The clergymen along with their wives received their first dose of the vaccine at Loyola Hall, joining hundreds of Bahamians being inoculated.

The big picture

Many Bahamians are skeptical of the vaccine with some questioning its connection to the biblical prophecies.  Many have waited for an official stance from the religious group.

Why it matters

BCC says it has conducted its own research and interviews, stating that it is well within reason that the WHO’s validation of the emergency use of the COVID19 vaccine is warranted. The organization added that there is insufficient theological evidence to support that the vaccine is directly connected to the fulfillment of end-time prophecy and the mark of the beast.