Evangelist Franklin Graham doesn’t believe that the “vaccine passport” chip implant developed by a Swedish company is the mark of the beast described in the Bible but warns of what such technology could lead to in the future.
The 69-year-old son of the late evangelist Billy Graham posted a statement on Facebook Tuesday, commenting on the recent news that many Swedes are having microchips the size of a grain of rice implanted under their skin, storing COVID-19 vaccine passport information and other personal data.
Some have speculated online whether such microchips could be the “mark of the beast” described in the book of Revelation.
“The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be a one world system,” Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote. “Revelation 13:16-17 says, ‘Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark…’”
“Right now, a Swedish company has developed a ‘vaccine passport’ chip that is implanted under the skin and can be scanned. It could be required to enter restaurants or businesses, fly commercially, etc,” he continued. “I personally do not think this particular chip is the mark the Bible talks about, but it does make you think how close we may be.”
Graham is not opposed to vaccinations and believes getting vaccinated is “important and helps save lives.” But he believes political leaders have used the coronavirus pandemic “as an excuse to exert more and more control” since “many world leaders are still using COVID ... to lock down their countries.”
“Christians around the world are wondering if COVID-19 is being used as a way to condition the world population to accept a mark like this, whatever form it may take,” Graham added.
“If a scannable chip under the skin can contain vaccine information, adding other personal information and financial data could be a short step away. This may sound frightening; but people who have put their faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, don’t need to be afraid. We should not live in fear. God told us what was coming in His Word. Make sure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life by repenting of your sins and putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”
The microchip, created by tech firm Dsruptive Subdermals, can store various data accessible through smartphones and other devices.
Thousands of people in Sweden have had chips implanted into their hands.
The chips are usually installed just above the thumb through a procedure that costs as low as about €100 euros (roughly $113).
However, concerns have been raised about privacy and what kind of personal health data will be stored on the chips.
Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of Dsruptive Subdermals, told AFP that chips allow people to communicate effortlessly with their devices. He contends that people should see chips as a form of identification rather than a “surveillance technology.”
This is not the first time that some have speculated if microchip implants could be related to the beast’s mark. After similar speculation was raised in 2017 after a Wisconsin-based company let employees get microchips implanted in their hands, Jerry Newcombe from D. James Kennedy Ministries warned about such conclusions.
“World leaders from Mikhail Gorbachev to Ronald Reagan have been falsely accused of being the Antichrist,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Christian Post. “And microchip fears have stoked prophetic speculations for years — but many biblical scholars note that Revelation is not pointing to some inadvertently-adopted technology, but is speaking symbolically of those who cast their lot with the opponents of Christ for societal approval.”