Cult Megachurch at Center of South Korea’s Coronavirus Outbreak is Closed

A young man was seen putting “no entry” signs on the doors of a church that is seen as a cult that is at the center of South Korea’s largest coronavirus outbreak in the southeastern city of Daegu, as all of its 9,000 members remained inside their homes Friday amid reports of 142 new cases of the virus, bringing the total in that country to 346.

“All of our 9,000 believers are at home,” the member of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, told Reuters, which also reported that at least 500 church members in this city of 2.5 million had developed symptoms of the virus as of Friday amid ongoing tests.

The virus has passed on to others mostly through a 61-year-old woman who attended services at the church, which was holding services several times a week until recently.

The street on which the church is situated now looks unusually quiet.

“When a service was over, thousands of people in the same black suits would emerge from the exterior top floor staircase and come all the way down to the ground because they only have two elevators,” a 28-year-old resident was quoted as saying. “That would go on for more than 10 minutes. Really bizarre if you watch it. There are that many people.”

The church followers reportedly believe that its founder, Lee Man-hee, is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promised second coming and that only Lee can interpret and understand the Bible.

On its website, the church claims, “Currently, the pastor of Shincheonji Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony is creating God’s kingdom of heaven here on earth, exactly as he witnessed it in heaven.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar

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