Pentecostal Leaders in Scandinavia Urge Believers not to Listen to Conspiracy Theories and “YouTube Prophets”

It’s easy to laugh at all the insane conspiracy theories floating around right now, with people claiming that coronavirus vaccine will kill you, change your DNA or transform you into a satanist. But really, it’s nothing short of a catastrophic tragedy that millions of people seriously believe these kinds of things.

As Christians, we should be extra alarmed by the fact that evangelicals seem to be more prone to believing and spreading COVID conspiracy theories than others.

YouTube, TikTok and other Internet platforms have no lack of Christians claiming to “prophesy” that the vaccine will insert microchips or that nurses will try to kill you if you don’t want to get vaccinated.

Apparently, the fact that many Pentecostals got their Trump prophecies wrong has not kept Internet preachers from using prophecy to push their own agenda.

To combat this pandemic of misinformation, Christian leaders need to speak up. This is exactly what the superintendents of the Pentecostal churches in the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – decided to do last week. In a joint statement, they warned against conspiracy theories and YouTube prophets, telling their flock to listen to medical authorities and take the vaccine.

Here’s an excerpt of what they wrote:

Parts of those who sort under the Pentecostal-Charismatic umbrella in the body of Christ, must be self-critical in their evaluation in regard to their promotion of prophecies and conspiracy theories. No significant prophetic voices did foresee the arrival of the virus. We urge those prophets who now spend energy on scaring people with the consequences of the virus, and warning against taking the vaccine, to be more cautious. The church and the world need prophetic voices, but not “YouTube prophets” who do not stand accountable to anyone but themselves.

Therefore, we ask the Pentecostal churches in the Nordic Countries to be in prayer, and make aticons based on love for our neighbor, and not based on fear. There is no contradiction in devoting one’s life in prayer, at the same time as we listen to the advice from the health officials. The political leaders are not combating the churches, they combat the virus.

For the five of us this means that we will follow the advise of the health officials in our respective countries in regard to social distancing for as long as it is needed, as well as taking the COVID-19 vaccine when it is our turn in line. At the same time we will continue to pray and remain vigilant in our calling, serving God in caring for the people around us.

The question is: when will we see similar statements from Pentecostal leaders in other countries?

Micael Grenholm is a Swedish pastor, author, and editor for PCPJ.

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Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians around the world. If you like what we do, please become a member!

3 thoughts on “Pentecostal Leaders in Scandinavia Urge Believers not to Listen to Conspiracy Theories and “YouTube Prophets””

  1. Excellent. Thank you. As a Charismatic Christ follower living in America, I so much appreciate your critiques of the conservative American Church and how it’s been so misled by false prophecy, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, including those giving favor to Trump. Trump’s base, including millions of evangelicals, has been very manipulated for political purposes. This includes politicizing issues like Covid and climate change, because the American Christian Right is intertwined with the Republican Party. Jesus is not Republican or Democrat! The voice of PCPJ needs to be heard in the American Church.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Cory. The problem there in America is that religion has become so politicised and radicalised that they’d tout themselves as righteous to the exclusion of Muslims, non-believers and even fellow Christians who simply try to follow Christ’s teaching. And it’s appalling and disgusting for those so-called Christians to revere and give favour to a monster like Donald Trump just as when he made obscene remarks more often than not.

      Not to mention that it’s the very same conspiracy theories that fueled the rise of equally abhorrent fascists especially in the 30s as we all know.

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