- Shincheonji Church of Jesus founder held for Coronavirus rapid outbreak
- He and 11 other hid the information of many members of the sect
- City mayor says the rigorous investigation and strict punishment should be given to leaders of the cult.
Lee Man-hee, 88, has been charged by the prosecutors after the City government filed a complaint against him. According to them, he hid the information of his members while the officials were tracking down patients, from the sect in particular. Eleven sect leaders along with Lee are accused of the same.
Park Won-soon, the Seoul City Mayor, on Facebook said he was suing the leader for “for murder, injury and violation of prevention and management of infectious diseases,” and said, “We can handle the COVID-19 situation as soon as possible only when we forcefully investigate the twelve branch heads of the Shincheonji sect along with Lee Man Hee, the Chairman of the sect.”
Reactions from Shincheonji Members on the allegations
Kim Shin- Chang, International Missions Director, stated across from the charges that the members were co-operative during the entire process. He admitted that they were sorry for causing concerns and some members were even afraid to release their identity due to safety reasons but, they are willing to co-operate fully now.
Previously, however, he blamed the officials, as the outbreak was from December, the history of July travel records of last year was irrelevant to keep. Also, he added, “It makes me wonder if they are trying to exaggerate the link or possibly move the responsibility to Shincheonji,” he inferred. “I would like to ask the Ministry of Justice why they did not check all Chinese and Korean citizens (traveling) from Wuhan since July, and why they only released the number of 42 (Shincheonji) members.”
Contrary remarks by Former Members
Unlikely, Duhyen Kim, a former member mentioned that the members were denied to use masks during prayers as it would be “disrespect to God”.
The negligence on Church’s part cannot be side-lined as there are around 2, 30,000 members and it is crucial to track down the movements of everyone.
This all started from last month when the church members infected each other starting from a 61-year-old female member who happens to be first amongst the identified.
The country infected rate is highest outside China. Currently, 3730 cases are identified, and 21 deaths so far have been reported.