Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, grabbed attention last week when he said that QR codes used to show COVID-19 vaccine status in some countries could be “a prefiguration of the sign of the Beast.”
The bishop’s remarks referenced the apocalyptic “Mark of the Beast” described in the Book of Revelation.
Schneider, who has in recent months made headlines for criticisms of the Second Vatican Council and calls for priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in a “clandestine manner,” is not the only one to make pandemic claims about the “sign of the beast.”
Concerns that COVID-19 vaccines could be connected to the biblical Mark of the Beast have circulated among some Catholic and Evangelical commentators, and on social media, since the vaccines made their debut last year.
You’ve heard of the “Mark of the Beast.” But what is it, really?
The concept comes from the Book of Revelation, which describes a powerful beast which arises from the earth and takes authority over the people, forcing them to commit idolatry and requiring them to mark themselves with his sign in order to buy or sell goods.
Scripture says: “And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads,and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
Claims to identify the apocalyptic mark are nothing new, they have frequently arisen throughout history.
So what else has been called the Mark of the Beast? We made a little list:
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