Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage is granting some religious exemptions to its COVID shot mandate, but not without serious caveats.

Above is an email sent from Providence Alaska Medical Center to one of its employees.

Last month the Catholic hospital announced that its employees had until Sept. 30 to be fully vaxed. It has allowed employees to request a religious exemption so long as they filled out a form demonstrating that their opposition to the experimental shot is “sincerely held” and associated with “meaningful affiliations with a religious group or moral or ethical beliefs.” The hospital is also requiring employees to identify someone who can “verify your sincerely held religious or moral/ethical belief practice.”

Now, Providence is reserving the right to cancel previously approved religious exemptions if they deem, at a later date, that the exemption was not for sufficiently “appropriate religious reasons.”

A hospital employee shared an email that they received from their employer suggesting that approved religious exemption could be voided in the future.

“…I was shocked to read in an email from my employer, Providence Alaska Medical Center, that they will be subjecting already approved religious exemptions, for the Covid 19 vaccine, to further scrutiny based on any new government guidance as to what is deemed ‘appropriate religious reasons’ for a religious exemption,” the employee wrote to the Watchman on the condition of anonymity. “This was shocking to me because I don’t believe that the government should be able to tell people which religious beliefs are, or are not, appropriate!”

The hospital email states, “Your request for an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been approved.” It then notes, “…we reserve the right to review your exemption request based on new and/or clarified guidance from federal, state and local authorities about appropriate religious reasons for an exemption request.”

Providence, which promotes itself as a Catholic hospital, is one of the largest private employers in Alaska.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires employers to “provide a reasonable accommodation” for a religious exemption.

The EEOC website explains that the definition of religion is “broad and protects beliefs, practices, and observances with which the employer may be unfamiliar.” It adds, “Therefore, the employer should ordinarily assume that an employee’s request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.”

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the largest legal organizations committed to protecting religious freedom, it is “inappropriate for an employer to demand that an employee support their religious accommodation request with statements from the employee’s church or clergy.”

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Providence may reexamine whether approved vax exemptions were for ‘appropriate religious reasons’

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Greg says:

    How absurd it is that “the government” gets to decide what an acceptable religious belief is or isn’t. To any and all that support the government enforcement of “medical treatments”, because in this case the cause has been taken up by your liberal horde, what will you do when the tables are turned and the government tries to force something on you that you do not want to do? Agree or disagree, we should all speak up for freedom. Only the unintelligent will be willing to give up their power of choice to the government.

  • Tor says:

    I was told by my supervisor that Prov will not be accepting any religious or medical exceptions. They are going through the motions to ask current employees to have documentation of anaphylaxis response to vaccines in past and that is not it. Numerological, medical concerns other that the use of epilepsy will not be accepted. Was also told absolutely no religious exceptions will be accepted. Thus, they are going through the motions. I have medical letters from two physicians that explain my medical need for exception, but this was also denied by a previous employer. I was told that there is an 80% rate of employees who have had them, but 20% are not. So, the question is, what is the big push to allow the hospital to lose 20% of its staff when they are already short staffed. This is not just nurses, this is also, housekeeping, lab techs, US, everything. With the loss of a 20% work force where are their loyalties, not to the patients. I think, I do not know, but I think that with the monies coming in from the government for Covid, the government is giving a kick back to Prov for every employee who has the vac. Also, it could be that the government is placing a 100% compliancy with the mandate and if not compliant, they will be fined. So, what better way to get all employees to have the vac. It is evil, for a catholic organization to say no to a “religious” exception. As we all know that the vac used aborted fetal tissue, which is the tenant to the Bible, so we have an organization who pretends to be catholic, but in name only! They have the cross as a logo, but nope, they are not following the tenants of Jesus. They are using this to get a tax break, gain customers, and make more money. For it is the money that they are seeking. For why else would they tell those who have worked over 20 years at Prov to take a hike, and we don’t need you anymore. It is evil and to have to show proof to anyone or your employer, your medical record or your religious preferences is evil. They also told me, to have all my documentation to support my case. Laughing at the same time while telling me, the deadline is Oct. 15, 2021, and it will be impossible to get all your medical records in time. Also, I would like to know what are they going to do with this information. Will this information be sent to the government to know who took it and who didn’t? Why would they need this information, for the future?

  • Tor says:

    Correction to above post- the use of epinephrine

  • DoneWithIt says:

    Providence is a Catholic hospital – allegedly.
    This is tyranny – this is how the nazis, soviets, and maoists came to power – because good men did nothing.

  • Ty Harper says:

    Well spoken. Ty Harper. RN Soon to leave “Providence” because of this farce.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have recently left Providence because I don’t expect my medical exemption to be honored (which is signed by my physician). I too was told that very few exemptions would be excepted, and that soon I wouldn’t be able to get a job anywhere as a nurse without being vaccinated