Religious Exemption Letter Template

To whom it may concern:
I am seeking a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination policy of
The reasons for my request are as follows:
  1. My personal religious belief prevents me from being able to take any of the available COVID-19 vaccines because, in one way or another, they all employ cell lines derived from aborted children, and my personal religious conviction compels me to abstain from any cooperation, direct or indirect, in abortion, which I view as the killing of innocents1.
  2. My religion is Catholic. The Catholic Church teaches that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” Thus, the Catholic Church teaches that I must not be forced to take a COVID-19 vaccine2.
  3. I also am a member of the Catholic organization the Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima under the the guidance of Bishop Athanasius Schneider who, on this issue of conscience, has come down against any use of the available abortion-derived vaccines because it would be sinful to cooperate, even indirectly, in the crime of abortion3.
  4. I must stress, however, that even if I were not Catholic, my personal religious belief would be the same. I cannot have anything to do with vaccines that are connected in any way to the act of abortion. I could not live with myself if I were forced to be injected with any such vaccine4.
For these reasons, therefore, I request that _________________________ accommodate my sincerely held personal religious belief that I cannot take any of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines because of their connection to what I believe to be the grave sin of abortion, which I cannot condone and in which I cannot participate in any way.
1 Included but not limited to the following vaccines:
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen: Fetal cell cultures are used to produce and manufacture the J&J COVID-19 vaccine and the final formulation of this vaccine includes residual amounts of the fetal host cell proteins (≤0.15 mcg) and/or host cell DNA (≤3 ng).
Pfizer/BioNTech: The HEK-293 abortion-related cell line was used in research related to the development of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna/NIAID: Aborted fetal cell lines were used in both the development and testing of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
2 See “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines,” Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 21, 2020: (accessed August 17, 2021).
3 See The crime of abortion is so monstrous that any kind of concatenation with this crime, even a very remote one, is immoral and cannot be accepted under any circumstances by a Catholic once he has become fully aware of it. One who uses these vaccines must realize that his body is benefitting from the “fruits” (although steps removed through a series of chemical processes) of one of mankind’s greatest crimes. Any link to the abortion process, even the most remote and implicit, will cast a shadow over the Church’s duty to bear unwavering witness to the truth that abortion must be utterly rejected. The ends cannot justify the means.
See also affidavit of membership in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima.
4 As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Guidance on the protection of sincere religious beliefs states, it does not matter whether one’s sincere religious belief happens to correspond to that of any denomination or that it might even contradict the teaching of one’s denomination. What matters is that one has a sincere religious belief, which I do, concerning the immorality of recourse to abortion-derived vaccines. To quote the EEOC’s Guidance document in the Code of Federal Regulations:

The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee….6

Also, I am aware that the United States Supreme Court has held that “[W]e reject the notion that to claim the protection of the Free Exercise Clause, one must be responding to the commands of a particular religious organization.” Frazee v. Illinois Dep’t of Emp. Sec., 489 U.S. 829, 834, 109 S. Ct. 1514, 1517–18, 103 L. Ed. 2d 914 (1989)(emphasis added). In other words, it is the law of the land that my personal religious belief against vaccination does not have to be supported by any particular religious organization, not even the Church to which I belong. I do not have to show that any particular religion positively forbids me to take a COVID-19 vaccine. My personal religious belief forbids me.