BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Faith leaders are taking on the role of both spiritual and safety advisors during the pandemic.
Minority communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and historically less likely to accept a vaccine.
Faith leaders like Ronald Smith, pastor of Asher Community Church in Norwood, know the risks.
“I talk to them from two perspectives, I talk from a spiritual perspective and I also talk from a social perspective,” said Smith.
Smith has been reminding his parishioners to mask up and be safe since March.
“I tell them you must always be cognizant that we are in a pandemic, and you’ve got to act like you’re in a pandemic,” said Smith.
As a pastor, he feels an added responsibility to make sure he knows the science and tells his flock the facts. He plans to do that as the vaccine becomes more available.
“I tell them to understand this thing is a matter of life and death,” said Smith.
UAB has focus groups working with faith leaders to spread the message as well.