Shincheonji cult is in news for all the wrong reasons since the outbreak of coronavirus or COVID-19 in South Korea. The church is in news again, this time for its cult members refusing to undergo any treatment for coronavirus.
At least 1,777 Shincheonji members have been tested positive for coronavirus. But claiming that getting treatment is against their belief, these members are refusing to undergo any treatment. In addition, more than 1,000 members of Shincheonji cult, with symptoms of COVID-19 have even refused to undergo tests.
Daegu has reported nearly 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
Daegu is one of the most affected cities in South Korea that has reported nearly 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Reports in AllKpop stated that Daegu administrators have refused to take 12 billion KRW ($10 million) donation made by Shincheonji cult. The administration has even warned the members to get admitted and get treated for the virus.
In Daegu, most members affected by coronavirus are said to belong to Shincheonji cult. The warning was issued not only for the sake of cult members but also for the fear of spreading the virus among others. In fact, when the news of coronavirus spreading in South Korea broke, it was traced to 'Patient 31' who is a Shincheonji believer. The patient 31, who tested positive is said to have attended church prayers where thousands of devotees had gathered. The virus is said to have spread in Deagu from here.
Probe has been ordered against Man Hee and his 12 aides
Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony that is known as SHincheonji Church was founded by 88-year-old Lee Man-hee after he claimed that Jesus Christ appeared before him as a "bright heavenly figure". Lee had even called the outbreak of coronavirus as the devil's deed that aims at stopping the cult's growth.
When its members were found to be still attending gatherings that were termed as dangerous in terms of keeping the virus in check, on March 1, 2020, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon made an announcement that a criminal complaint has been filed against Man Hee. A probe has been ordered against Man Hee and his 12 aides charging them with murder and violations of the Disease Control Act.
The Seoul administration stated that the cult had was negligent in efforts of preventing an outbreak among their believers and their refusal to cooperate with the rules set by the government to keep the crisis under check.