A message from Mennonite Church Canada’s executive ministers on religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines



A message from Mennonite Church Canada’s executive ministers:


We are responding to inquiries from constituents regarding religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccines. For a religious exemption to be granted, rationale for exemption must be clearly indicated within our sacred texts or confessional statements.   

We wish to clarify that there is nothing in the Bible, in our historic confessions of faith, in our theology or in our ecclesiology that justifies granting a religious exemption from vaccinations against COVID-19.

We have heard concerns from some members of our constituency regarding the vaccines. However, we do not believe these concerns justify an exemption from COVID-19 vaccinations on religious grounds from within a Mennonite faith tradition.

From the earliest biblical writings, in the words of Jesus Christ and in ecclesial writings since Jesus’ ascension, the command to love God and love our neighbour is paramount. Vaccinations allow us to live out this command. Not only do they reduce the severity of symptoms for those who become infected with COVID-19, but they reduce the risk of spreading the virus to those around us. We also note that individuals should make personal health care decisions based on advice given by their doctors.

We pray for unity among us in the Spirit of Christ, who calls us into this life of love, especially for our most vulnerable neighbours.


Doug Klassen, Mennonite Church Canada

Garry Janzen, Mennonite Church British Columbia

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, Mennonite Church Alberta

Ryan Siemens, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

Michael Pahl, Mennonite Church Manitoba

Leah Reesor-Keller, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada