08/17/2020, 09.19
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Seoul, Covid infections rise due to pseudo-Christian sect

Sarang Jeil Church organized a gathering of thousands of people. As of yesterday evening there were 315 positive cases among members. An online petition calls for the arrest of Pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, who has "thwarted" the nation's efforts to counter the coronavirus. So far in South Korea, 15,318 are infected and 305 dead.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The pseudo-Christian sect Sarang Jeil, whose headquarters is in the north of the capital, is the new, largest epicenter for the Covid-19 virus. On August 15, flouting government reccomendations, the leader of the sect, Pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, organized a mass meeting to celebrate Liberation Day and to criticize the government of President Moon Jae-in. The rally was attended by tens of thousands of people (see photo).

Until yesterday at midnight, 315 positive cases were recorded among the members of the group. Health authorities have warned that cases are likely to increase due to the rally in which thousands of people were in close contact. Health Minister Kim Ganglip has launched an appeal for all members of the sect to undergo tests.

So far 315 positive cases have emerged from 2 thousand people tested. The are at least 4 thousand members of the sect.

Before Sarang Jeil, another sect, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus was responsible for generating the most infections in the country with 5200 cases.

The neglect shown by the Sarang Jeil sect has sparked a wave of criticism against it. There is even an online petition demanding the arrest of Pastor Jun for "damaging national security  under the guise of religion". Jun had already been arrested last March for violating electoral laws. He was released in April on the condition that he would not take part in any rally related to his case.

For the signatories of the online petition, Jun has "thwarted" the nation's efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic and shows no signs of repentance.

South Korea is one of the countries where the coronavirus has hit the least, thanks to the prompt prevention and testing model implemented by the government. In a country of about 52 million inhabitants, there are15,318 positive cases  so far and 305 dead.

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