South Korean religious sect counterblasts, ‘We are treated as Criminals’

The corona outbreak has metamorphosed into torment in South Korea as the religious sect is blamed for the extensive spread of Coronavirus. The followers fear that they might be marginalized by the authorities because of their religion.

Jiyeon is among the 2, 30,000 people who follow the Shincheoji Church of Jesus, who says, “Our church didn’t invent the virus. This is just an excuse to shift blame. Throughout history, minority groups have always been blamed for bad things happening in society. The same is happening to us.” She joined the organization two years back, before joining she had

Here the top commandants are playing the blame game to safeguard itself and conveniently convect the cards to the religious sects. The infected people’s numbers are believed to be 80% out of 1766 cases.

She further adds, “I didn’t know they were Shincheonji at first but they were kind and always there for me. Two of them even cried with me when my boyfriend broke up with me. So it didn’t matter too much when they told me the truth later. Why should it matter when other so-called honest people can be horrible and cruel for no apparent reason?” And that, “We’re being treated like criminals. We had a bad image before and now I think I’d be lynched if passers-by knew I belonged to Shincheonji.”

However the second version is of the Advent Kim, the former Shincheonji member, now a counselor to affected families by the sect, who escaped the church says, the extreme change can only save the situation from further damage. Regarding the church, he adds, “They teach members that it’s OK to lie about their faith just to protect the organization. How can you call it a religion when they teach lying? Everyone is brainwashed to blindly follow orders. Authorities must somehow get the cult leaders to give the appropriate orders for all members to come out of hiding so they can all get tested before it gets even worse.”

South Korea’s Vice Health Minister, Kim Gang-lip mentioned that they have a list of 2,12,000 members of the sect. The biological samples of 1300 people of the Daegu church who showed symptoms. Also, the agency is trying to gather samples of the remaining 90,000 members under training.

He blamed the church’s inappropriate recruitment methods, “They don’t tell newcomers they are Shincheonji at first. Only after they feel that the newcomer is ready to accept them do they come clean. By then, most choose to stay, as did I. Members-in-training most likely don’t know the group they belong to is Shincheonji, thinking they are attending a career or hobby-related group for acupuncture or pet grooming.”

Apart from this, he tells how the senior members are asked to infiltrate other churches for recruitment purposes. And the members are not allowed to tell their families about their membership and ban on internet usage facility is one of the rules.

He also told, “They have recruitment competitions and there are fines for members who cannot fill their quota.”

Many are trying to link the sect to their Wuhan branch. A recording of one of the leaders in Wuhan Branch is made public in which he says, “No Shincheonji member in Wuhan has contracted the virus thanks to their faith.”

However, as the speedy outbreak in South Korea, they have advised the people to work from home, wear masks, avoid face meetings, barred flights from Daegu, no catholic masses.