Blog > COVID-19 Response >

World Religious Leaders Call for a People’s Vaccine

COVID-19 is a global pandemic & it requires a global response ? 

This unprecedented public health crisis calls, above all, for global solidarity, for all people to stand together as brothers and sisters.  

EMERGENCY is a proud member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which has today received support from religious leaders calling on governments and pharmaceutical corporations to: 

 Prevent monopolies on vaccine
 Implement fair allocation of the vaccine
 Ensure the vaccine is sold at affordable prices 

Read the full letter and list of signatories here: 

As religious leaders, we have witnessed the personal stories behind the Covid statistics  we have, every day, heard the cries, shared with us, of the suffering, the frightened, and the bereaved.  

We have witnessed too the profound love shown by those working at the frontline, and by those who have reached out to help their neighbours.  

The Covid crisis has reminded us all of our interdependence, and of our responsibilities to care for one another. We can each only be safe when all of us are safe. If one part of the world is left to suffer the pandemic, all parts of the world will be put at ever-increasing risk.  

The access of people to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines cannot be dependent on people’s wealth, status, or nationality. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our sisters and brothers by imagining that the market can be left to resolve the crisis or pretend to ourselves that we have no obligation to others in our shared humanity. Every person is precious. We have a moral obligation to reach everyone, in every country. 

Friar Marco Moroni, Custos of the Sacro Convent in Assisi said, “The vaccine is for everyone and must be made available as soon as possible. The selfishness of the few threatens the planet and we cannot accept it. We still have time – humanity is one and we are called upon to walk together without being afraid, with courage, and without the ‘dread’ of being left behind.

Humanity is breaking into pieces. We are only looking after ourselves. Ready to close our doors. Ready to turn away and hide the reality, the bitter reality: distrust, selfishness and suffering. We have forgotten the doctors and nurses who have lost their lives in recent months. These people fulfilled the law of love manifested by Jesus at the Last Supper: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13).” It is here, as Blaise Pascal said, that “man infinitely transcends man”. 

Right now, despite the incredible success in developing so many safe and effective vaccines in record time, and the relief of seeing them being rolled out, with deaths starting to decline as a result, it pains us greatly that access to the vaccines is so inequitable. Rich countries have been able to ramp up vaccination efforts and secure doses whilst in most low- and middle-income countries vaccines are only beginning to trickle in. At the current pace of vaccine production and distribution, people in much of the world may not be vaccinated until at least 2024. The consequences for the poorest individuals, families, and communities, will be devastating.  

Neglect would undermine the dignity not only of those left behind, but also of those who have left them behind.  

This unprecedented public health crisis calls, above all, for global solidarity, for all people to stand together as brothers and sisters. The same spirit of unity and common purpose that has driven scientists to develop Covid-19 vaccines at breathtaking speed, that drives the care of those tending to the sick, must also inspire the leaders of government, civil society and the private sector to massively ramp up vaccine production so there are sufficient doses for every person in the world to be vaccinated.  

We call on all leaders to reject vaccine nationalism and embrace a commitment to global vaccine equity.  

As religious leaders, we join our voices to the call for vaccines that are made available to all people as a global common good – a People’s Vaccine. This is the only way to end the pandemic. 

Let us work together to build a more just and peaceful world. 

To love is to take action.  


  1.                  Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President, Sojourners 
  2.                  Imam Ahmed Ghanem, Göteborg mosque, Gothenburg, Sweden 
  3.                  The Most Revd Dr Albert Chama, Archbishop of Central Africa and Chair of the Anglican Alliance 
  4.                  Adrian Cristea, Executive Officer, Dublin City Inter-faith Forum 
  5.                  Ann Scholz, SSND, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) 
  6.                  His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London 
  7.                  Anthony Nanson 
  8.                  Avera Health 
  9.                  Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Netherlands 
  10.              Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ – Provincial of the Austrian Province of the Society of Jesus 
  11.              Blessing Makwara, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe 
  12.              The Revd Canon Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland 
  13.              Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, President of the Board at Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice 
  14.              Rev. Brian D. McLaren, USA 
  15.              Brigid Lawlor, Province Advocacy Liaison, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces 
  16.              The Rev. Cn. Bruce W. Woodcock, Asia and the Pacific Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Church 
  17.              Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference 
  18.              Rev. Charles Berahino, Executive Secretary for Peace and Diakonia at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) 
  19.              Rev. Chris Hudson, Moderator, Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Ireland 
  20.              Christopher Cox 
  21.              The Rev. Christopher Frye, St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chambersburg, PA 
  22.              Revd Clare Downing, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church 
  23.              The Rev. Clelia P. Garrity, LCSW, Diocesan Missioner for Global Refuge Missions 
  24.              Rev. Colin Holtz, President, Faithful America Board of Directors 
  25.              Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Salvation Army Territorial Commander, United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland  
  26.              Revd Duncan Dormor, General Secretary, USPG 
  27.              Fr Damian Howard SJ 
  28.              Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Scholar in Residence, National Council of Jewish Women 
  29.              Bishop David Musumba, Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya 
  30.              Rev. Derrick Jones, Supervisor of RCA Mission programs in Africa 
  31.              Dominican Sisters, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 
  32.              Rev Dyfrig Rees, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Independents 
  33.              Eddy Ruble, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 
  34.              Edwin Graham, Coordinator, Northern Ireland Inter-faith Forum 
  35.              Sister Eileen Gannon, Sparkill, NY 
  36.              Elijah M. Brown, General Secretary, Baptist World Alliance 
  37.              Emmanuel Ahua 
  38.              Sr. Emily TeKolste, SP, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice 
  39.              Rev. Erik Oland S.J., Provincial – Jesuits of Canada 
  40.              Esther Mombo 
  41.              Franck Janin, President, Jesuit Conference of European Provincials 
  42.              Franciscan Action Network 
  43.              Rev. Fredrick Gilbert 
  44.              Gustavo Calderón, S.J. Provincial de Ecuador – COMPAÑIA DE JESÚS 
  45.              Hazel Loney, Lay Leader, Methodist Church in Ireland 
  46.              Haider Ibrahim, Chairman, Islamic Shia communities in Sweden 
  47.              Rev. Hodari Williams, New Life Church, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 
  48.              Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Imam 
  49.              Very Revd Dr Ivan Patterson, President, Irish Council of Churches 
  50.              Rabbi Jacob Siegel 
  51.              The Rev. James L. Reisner 
  52.              Fr. Jan Roser SJ, Provincial 
  53.              Sr. Jane Herb, IHM Sisters of Monroe, Michigan – President 
  54.              Jason Miller, Franciscan Action 
  55.              Javier Perez, Director of Global Missions Programs & Impact, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 
  56.              Rev Jennifer Butler, Faith in Public Life 
  57.              Rev Dr Jennie Hurd, Chair of the Methodist Church Cymru Synod 
  58.              Jennifer Lau – Executive Director, Canadian Baptist Ministries 
  59.              P. Jesus Zaglul, Casa Generalicia de los jesuitas, Roma 
  60.              Jim Winkler, President, National Council of Churches 
  61.              Sr. Joan Mumaw IHM 
  62.              John Celichowski, OFM Cap., NAPCC Novitiate, Santa Ynez, CA 
  63.              Rev. John Chan, Canadian Baptist Ministries 
  64.              The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales 
  65.              Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh, Church of Ireland 
  66.              Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 
  67.              Rev. Canon Joseph P Collins 
  68.              The Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion 
  69.              The Rev’d Fr. Johannes Mokgethi-Heath, Act Church of Sweden 
  70.              Rev. Julia Bowering, Canadian Baptist Ministries 
  71.              Rev Judith Morris, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Baptists 
  72.              Judith Toner, member NY State UCC Global Ministries Committee 
  73.              Judy Byron, OP, Inter-Community Peace & Justice Center, Seattle, Washington, USA 
  74.              D. Kang-San Tan, BMS World Mission 
  75.              Pastor Kay Woike, Church of the Nativity, United Church Of Christ 
  76.              Ven. Kofi deGraft-Johnson, CAPA Secretariat, Nairobi, Kenya 
  77.              Dr. Krish Kandiah, Greater Good Global 
  78.              Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Former Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism 
  79.              Dr. Lauren Jinshil Oliver, founder, 
  80.              Lawrence Couch, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd 
  81.              Lawrence Gilley, United Church of Christ, Deansboro, New York, USA 
  82.              Dr. Lesmore Gibson, All Africa Conference of Churches 
  83.              The Most Reverence Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada 
  84.              Louise Hannem, Canadian Baptist Ministries 
  85.              Janice Tsang, Co-convenor of the Anglican Health & Community Network (AHCN) 
  86.              Lucas Lopez Perez SJ, del equipo de la Conferencia de Provinciales Jesuitas de Amerrica Latina y el Caribe 
  87.              Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr. President Emeritus Hispanic Clergy, President & CEO, Esperanza 
  88.              Rt Revd Luke Pato, Bishop of Namibia and Co-Convenor of the Anglican Health & Community Network 
  89.              Friar Marco Moroni, Sacro Convento of Assisi 
  90.              Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church 
  91.              Right Reverend Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 
  92.              Mary Ellen Holohan,Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Member of Congregational Leadership Team 
  93.              Rt Revd Dr Michael Beasley, Bishop of Hertford and Co-Convener of Anglican Health & Community Network 
  94.              Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte OFM 
  95.              Mohamed Temsamani, Chairman of United Islamic Associations of Sweden 
  96.              Archbishop Mouneer Anis 
  97.              Margaret Rose, The Episcopal Church 
  98.              Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International 
  99.              Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, General Secretary, Lutheran World Federation 
  100.          Mary J. Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice 
  101.          Rev. Maxwell Doss – General Secretary, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka 
  102.          Merritt Johnston, Baptist World Alliance 
  103.          Rev. Nathan Empsall, Executive Director of Faithful America 
  104.          Nathan Jones, Oasis Waterloo 
  105.          Nick Park, Executive Director, Evangelical Alliance Ireland 
  106.          Rabbi Nora Feinstein 
  107.          Patricia Millen, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia 
  108.          Bishop Paul Horan, Diocese of Mutare, Zimbabwe 
  109.          Paul Parker, Quakers in Britain 
  110.          Peter Pay, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church 
  111.          Sister Pegge Boehm, PBVM, Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM of Aberdeen SD 
  112.          Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development 
  113.          Sister Quincy Howard, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice 
  114.          Rev. Randy Stanton 
  115.          Rebecca Linder Blachly, Director, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations 
  116.          Revd Richard Teal, President of the Methodist Conference 
  117.          Richard Walters, The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Inc. 
  118.          Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism 
  119.          Roberto Jaramillo Bernal, S.J., Presidente de la Conferencia de ProvinciasJesuitas de America Latina y El Caribe 
  120.          Sr. Rose Marie Jasinski, CBS 
  121.          Dr. Rowan Williams, UK 
  122.          Sacro Convento of Assisi 
  123.          Rt Revd Sarah Groves, Moravian Church 
  124.          Rev. Fr. Seamus Finn OMI, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate- US Province 
  125.          Sheila Katz, CEO National Council of Jewish Women, USA 
  126.          Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice 
  127.          Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Leadership 
  128.          Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team 
  129.          Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace 
  130.          Rev. S.J.Wilson, Atlanta GA 
  131.          Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley, Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church 
  132.          Susan Gunn, MaryKnoll Office for Global Concerns 
  133.          Rabbi Suzan E. Lipson 
  134.          Rev. Sylvestre BIZIMANA, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Burundi 
  135.          Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA 
  136.          Fr. Ted Penton, SJ, Secretary of Justice and Ecology, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US 
  137.          The Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town 
  138.          Rev Dr Tom McKnight, President, Methodist Church in Ireland 
  139.          Bishop Venson Shava 
  140.          Vicky Heslop, Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre 
  141.          Wanda M Lundy, Siloam-Hope First Presbyterian Church/ New York Theological Seminary 
  142.          Rev. Wayne A. Laws, Minister of Social Justice & Mission at Mountain View United Church 
  143.          Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and Chair of the Trócaire Board of Directors 
  144.          Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Curia Generalizia, Rome 
  145.          Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director, Center for Islam and Public Policy