Pastor dies from COVID-19 — after claiming coronavirus was a ‘mark of the beast’ conspiracy

According to The Christian Post, Pastor Ronnie Hampton of the New Vision Community Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, has died of COVID-19 — after telling his followers that the virus was not a huge deal and suggesting that God was just testing the faithful.

“This virus that is out now, look at what it’s doing," he said in a Facebook Live broadcast one week before his death on Wednesday. "It’s shutting down everything, which means that the physical connection of Christians is being ripped apart. We’re not able to fellowship. We’re not able to love each other. We’re not able to greet each other with a handshake or a hug. We’re not able to be in close proximity of each other. We’re not able to break bread, sit down and eat with each other because Caesar is mandating how we conduct ourselves using the pretext of this virus to be able to conduct our lives and run our lives for us."

Hampton went on to offer conspiracy theories about coronavirus, suggesting that it was an excuse for the government to create a police state and implant microchips in the population.

“Now, here’s a theory," said Hampton. "It was brought to my attention that this virus thing, people die from the flu more than they’ve died from this virus. In my opinion, death is death. I don’t care what it’s by. But I listened and they say well, it’s something that’s come up. And now everything is being shut down, borders are being closed, and they’re gonna come up with a vaccine because they are keeping everybody away from each other just so that they can install martial law."

“They’re gonna come up with a vaccine and in that vaccine everybody is gonna have to take it ... and inside of that vaccine there’s going to be some type of electronic computer device that’s gonna put some type of chip in you and maybe even have some mood, mind-altering circumstances," Hampton continued. "And they’re saying that the chip would be the mark of the beast."

"I haven’t tested positive for the coronavirus and if I do test positive, we do what we gotta do to take care of it,” he said. “I want you to know that the Lord said not to let your heart be troubled. So I’m not trying to worry about this. I’m just gonna continue to be prayerful, be faithful, this may be His way of sitting me down so I can get a little rest."