“Religious Cult” Known as “Shincheonji” Revealed to Be at the Center of Coronavirus Outbreak in Korea

Around 40 of the 104 COVID-19 cases in Korea are said to be linked to the church.

The number of coronavirus cases in Korea recently surged, and a major cause has been revealed to be a religious organization called Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases currently stands at 104, and around 40 of those cases are said to be linked to the church’s branch located in Daegu.

South Korean health officials reported that the spread of COVID-19 began when Korea’s 31st case, a 61-year-old woman, contracted the virus and made contact with more than 166 other believers at her church attended by 1000.

In light of this breaking report, much focus has been put on Shincheonji and their practices.

It’s been reported by past believers that the believers closely interact with others through “Bible study” and making close physical contact with one another by putting their arms on each other’s shoulders and sitting close to each other on the ground.

But particular light has been shed on the fact that the Shincheonji believers believe that any illness can be defeated by faith alone and that their leader, Lee Man Hee is an immortal angel.

A representative of Shincheonji responded to the news claiming that the media distorted the truth and spread falsehood in efforts to slander the religious sector.

We ask that you stop spreading reports containing distorted truths and falsehood in efforts to slander Shincheonji in the midst of this situation.

– Shincheonji

Shincheonji has since then shut down their Daegu branch while the 31st patient is self-isolated and the 166 believers she made contact with are quarantined, but there is still great anxiousness surrounding the religious organization commonly accused of being a cult, and further spread of the coronavirus.

Source: Hani, Chosun, Insight, BBC and Donga