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There are reports of a measles outbreak in a Christian school in British Columbia, Canada. News reports speak of this as a community with "traditionally low vaccination rates" and say that many parents do not vaccinate their children on religious grounds.

I'm unaware of any Christian group that prohibits vaccinations, or any line of theological reasoning that would lead to an issue with vaccinations. Wikipedia doesn't mention anything. Even Amish and Old Order Mennonites appear to go along with vaccinations.

Who are the groups that take this stand, and what is their theological reasoning?

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This may answer your question partly: cmda.org/wcm/CMDA/Issues2/Healthcare1/General_Healthcare/… However, it does not really list specific denominations, just theological position. –  Double U Mar 15 '14 at 17:45
I predict that a good answer should include information on the history of the British Columbia area, especially religious history, and maybe some coverage on the politics and general religious sensibilities. That may bring some hints as to what type theological tradition they may come from. –  Double U Mar 15 '14 at 22:46
Christian Scientists –  The Freemason Apr 9 '14 at 14:12
@Anonymous that link gives me a 404 –  Andrew Jun 30 '14 at 13:58

1 Answer 1

I'm not sure about the situation in England, however not too long ago a similar situation happened in The Netherlands. There was a big discussion, so most sources are in Dutch, mainly the Dutch Wikipedia with it's references.

There are two groups who do not vaccinate their children: A) People in the The Anthroposophical Society believe that vaccinations affect the immune system. B) Orthodox protestant reformed groups, which is a very traditional church with it's own clothing style, schools, hospitals, politic party etc. They do not watch TV or use a computer because the bible does not say anything about modern technology.

The main reason they do not vaccinate their children is because of Sunday 10, Q&A 27 from the Heidelberg Catechism, which reads:

Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

Answer: The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but be his fatherly hand.

They believe that all good comes from God, and sickness is a punishment from God. They believe that God wants their children to be healthy He'll make them better. If God wants them to become disabled due to an illness, it's His will, and they accept that.

There is much discussion about this topic within this denomination. Some of their church leaders say that it is something between the you and God to decide what is right. If you feel that the vaccination places technology between you your dependence on God, you should not use vaccinations. However if you do not feel guilty when using vaccinations you are free to use them.

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Well, vaccines do affect the immune system - it provides new ways for them to fight sickness. Perhaps you could add a little more information as to why this is a problem (or is perhaps viewed differently)? –  Clockwork-Muse Apr 11 '14 at 1:24

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