“It’s this extreme hijacking of the evangelical movement by these forces”

When famed televangelist Marcus Lamb died this week at 64 after contracting covid-19, a who’s who of conservative Christian leaders sent out regrets. Evangelist Franklin Graham said Lamb is now “experiencing heaven.” National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference head Samuel Rodriguez called him a “faithful follower of Jesus … with a heart for the lost and broken.”

Absent was a painful truth: Lamb had led his global Christian network, Daystar, for months in spreading inaccurate information about coronavirus vaccines and instead promoting treatments that are not proven remedies. The vaccines, a May segment on Daystar said, falsely, are “killing your immune system.”

But the silence and unanswered questions by some Christian leaders, as well as Lamb’s family and network, sit atop what some experts say is a deep base of politics, conspiratorial thinking and a skepticism of anything that appears secular.