Anti-vaccination pastor in measles disaster
'Anti-vaccination' pastor of mega-church under scrutiny after measles outbreak.
Church leader, author and televangelist Kenneth Copeland has had his teachings come under scrutiny after a recent outbreak of measles within his congregation, according to Huffington Post. It is alleged that vaccination against disease is discouraged within his church, with congregants instead being encouraged to “trust in God” for their health.

The recent outbreak saw 21 members becoming infected after a visitor who was sick came to the 1 500 member church. Of the 21, 16 were reportedly not vaccinated, and the remaining five had no records to show that they’d been vaccinated.

Copeland is quoted commenting previously on vaccination at a 2010 conference after discovering how many vaccinations his great-grandchild was required to have:

“I got to looking into that and some of it is criminal. ... You're not putting – what is it Hepatitis B – in an infant! That's crazy. That is a shot for a sexually transmitted disease. What? In a baby?... You don't take the word of the guy that's trying to give the shot about what's good and what isn't.”

His wife is also said to have claimed that she and her husband “don’t need prescription drugs, because the Lord heals all of our diseases.”

Also on the subject of vaccinations, his daughter Terri is said to have commented: “you've got this covered in your household by faith and it crosses your heart of faith, then don't go do it.”

The Copelands are known to cite the debunked autism-vaccination link paper as a reason for not vaccinating.

Other former members have since suggested that the Copeland’s ministry had created a climate of fear, where members felt intimidated into relying on faith rather than medicine or doctors for healing.

Bad science and vaccination myths

Those against vaccines often cite a paper now completely debunked which purported to link vaccinating children to a higher likelihood of those children becoming autistic. The Lancet medical journal which published the paper later retracted it, and the author, Andrew Wakefield was struck off the medical register after being found guilty of serious misconduct. The paper was unfortunately disseminated to wide audience, so the vaccination-autism link myth became a popular idea, even if it was scientifically “fraudulent”.

Directly following the publishing of Wakefield’s debunked theory, vaccinations in the UK dropped sharply, and incidences of children contracting measles and mumps, many of whom were maimed and some even dying as a result.

The vaccination-autism connection has been described as the “most damaging medical hoax of the last hundred years.”

Many countries are in the process of making it a criminal offence to not vaccinate a child, according to

Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about vaccinations.

Should anti-vaccinators face criminal action?

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