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Local Churches Offer Religious Exemption For Parishioners Who Don't Want Vaccine

ROCKLIN (CBS13) — Some local churches are providing religious exemptions for people who don't want the vaccine but feel forced as more jobs are starting to require vaccinations.

Through a church service shared live on Facebook, Pastor Gregg Farrington of Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin spoke out about the religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine he's now offering to anyone who requests one from him.

The pastor added that the church is pro-freedom, not anti-vaccine, and says saying he's been approached by "hundreds of people who feel morally compromised by mandatory vaccination requirements."

The church declined to comment on Sunday, but CBS13 has learned The Family Church in Roseville is providing similar exemptions.

Pastor Matthew Oliver shared what his church's vaccine exemption note looks like and says people have a right to their religious freedom.

"They want the right to be able to choose what they are going to put into their body," he said.

So, do employers have to abide by these religious exemptions?

We asked labor attorney Mark Spring who says not immediately.

"That you can simply say 'I'm morally compromised,' or 'I don't want to take the vaccine' and they are going to hand you some form, that would not qualify in my view if challenged or tested by employer or government agency," he said.

Spring adds employers don't have to take the form for face value and have a right to reasonably inquire or investigate that an employee has a sincerely held religious belief prohibiting them from being vaccinated.

"I think we are going to see more of this," he said.

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