News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Rev Jun banner.PNG
Source: YouTube
Rev Jun.PNG
Source: YouTube
World News

Another South Korean church faces backlash after surge in Covid-19 cases

by Premier Journalist

A South Korean megachurch has been linked to a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, as an additional 279 infections were reported on Sunday alone. On Monday, a further 197 cases were recorded - it is the highest infection rate seen in the country since March. 

According to the Seoul metropolitan government, at least 312 of the new cases have been linked to Seoul's Sarang Jeil Church. 

"Of [Sarang Jeil's] 4,000 churchgoers... 3,400 have been placed in quarantine and 2,000 have been screened," said Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip, according to the Yonhap News Agency. "Of this, 312 have tested positive... a high positive rate of 16.1 per cent." The backlash against the church has been swift, with hundreds of thousands signing a petition urging the authorities to arrest the church's senior pastor, Rev Jun Kwang-hoo.

Kwang-hoo, a staunch conservative and outspoken critic of President Moon, has been accused of “obstructing” an official medical investigation into the outbreak among his church members, along with violating quarantine rules by attending a rally at the weekend - over 4,000 members of Rev Jun’s church has been ordered to self-isolate for two weeks and while they undergo testing. 

At the rally, Rev Jun appeared to blame an outside force for causing the virus outbreak. "They poured the virus on our church,” he said, though it was unclear who exactly he was referring to. 

President Moon has warned that “stern and strong measures” will be imposed against “some churches" who flout the rules, noting that their behaviour is an “unforgivable act that threatens public lives".

This is not the first time a church has been accused of becoming an epicentre of Covid-19 transmission. Earlier this month, the leader of the Shincheonji Church, Lee Man-hee, was arrested after being accused of withholding information about his congregants and gatherings from contact tracers.

Lee Man-hee hit the headlines in March after issuing an emotional apology for his role in perpetuating the spread of Covid-19 - over half of the country's initial cases were proven to have originated at his church. 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate