Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has asked prosecutors to investigate the leaders of a religious sect linked to the surging number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea on charges of murder, injury and violation of a law pertaining to infectious disease control.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said on Sunday that he holds Lee Man-hee, the founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, and the sect's leadership accountable for the recent spread of the deadly virus in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province and other areas, including the capital region.
Park accused the religious group of failing to appropriately cooperate with health authorities and interfering with government efforts to fight the outbreak.
Shincheonji has been widely criticized for belatedly providing a list of its members, needed to trace possible infections among those associated with the group and prevent further community spread.
Some officials say the sect contributed to the worsening of the outbreak by witholding information about its followers after holding large-sized services in Daegu, which is now the epicenter of the epidemic in South Korea.■
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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