On a “Believer’s Voice of Victory” TV broadcast last week, evangelist Kenneth Copeland declared that following Jesus leads to “divine health”—including protection from COVID-19.
During the Christmas Eve message, titled “Be Set Free From Worry and Cares,” Copeland speaks about 2 Corinthians 5:7 and walking by faith, not by sight. At one point he tells viewers, “If you know what to do in the natural and you know what to do in the supernatural, you can walk in divine health. And that’s what we’re talking about. So I believe it, and I walk by faith, therefore I will never have COVID of any kind. Amen.”
Critics: Virus Has Claimed ‘Many Faithful Christians’
Hemant Mehta, founder of the “Friendly Atheist” blog, tweeted a clip of Copeland’s comments, calling the 86-year-old a “scamvangelist.” Mehta writes: “Many, many faithful Christians have died due to COVID.”
As ChurchLeaders has reported throughout the pandemic, the coronavirus has led to the deaths of many Christians—including numerous pastors and prominent faith figures. According to the latest CDC statistics, more than 100 million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, and America has surpassed more than 1 million COVID-related deaths.
While retweeting Mehta’s comments and Copeland’s Christmas Eve message, Jennifer Greenberg writes: “Friendly Reminder: When you tell abuse victims or people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or PTSD, that they wouldn’t be suffering if they had stronger faith, you sound just as ridiculous as Kenneth Copeland does here.”
Kenneth Copeland Declared Pandemic Over in Spring 2020
On Twitter, Mehta also offers a reminder that Copeland declared COVID “over” soon after the pandemic began. In a video from late March 2020, the evangelist shouted that he was executing “judgment” on the devil and COVID, calling the virus a “creep.”
Copeland said, “I execute judgment on you Satan, you destroyer, you killer, you get out!… You get off this nation. I demand judgment on you… I demand a vaccination to come immediately!” He concluded, “It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again sayeth the mighty Spirit.”