0219 Statement of Shincheonji Church of Jesus Regarding the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Statement of Shincheonji Church of Jesus Regarding the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
19 February 2020
Respected citizens of Korea,
According to the Central Quarantine Headquarters of the Korea Centers for Disease Control Prevention (KCDC) today (19 February), 10 more members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) following the infection of the 31st confirmed patient.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus has shut down the Daegu Church of Thaddeus Tribe on the morning of the 18th where the 31st confirmed patient attended. Currently, epidemiological investigation and strong preventive measures are being implemented. Furthermore, all the facilities across Korea, including the branch churches and meeting locations of the 12 tribes are prohibiting entry and all worship and meetings are being replaced with offering service online and at home.
In addition, we have identified the congregation members who visited Daegu Church and notified them to practice self-quarantine and to visit the nearest health centers upon experiencing any symptoms. Moreover, all members are being asked to be tested as soon as they experience symptoms like fever.
Currently, Shincheonji church buildings are going through disinfection as the church requested local health centers for the cleaning, and there have been instructions to refrain from outdoor activities and for office workers to work at home.
Since the end of January, which was weeks before the 31st case was confirmed, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus implemented measures to prevent the virus spreading via official announcements restricting congregation members who traveled abroad or those exhibiting mild cold symptoms from attending church services.
Despite the church’s active notices and warnings, the number of confirmed patients among the church members is on the rise as a member considered her symptoms to be a common sold since she hasn’t gone abroad recently. We find it deeply regrettable to have added to the concern and anxiety of the local community.
After a member of the church has tested positive for COVID-19, Shincheonji Church of Jesus has not only gave notices regarding worship services and meetings but also repeatedly announced to strictly follow the guidelines from the government and local authorities and be fully cooperative with them.
In particular, disciplinary actions have been taken against members who spread personal guidelines different from that of the Shincheonji Headquarters or leaked groundless information such as a “manual to falsely response,” etc.
We would like to restate through this opportunity that we strictly prohibit any congregation members from spreading their personal instructions as if they are official, especially if they differ from the intention of the Shincheonji Headquarters to exert utmost efforts in faithfully adhering to the government policies for the stability of the local community. In the event of such occurrence, stern measures will be taken in response.
We would like to reaffirm our commitment to actively observe the guidelines of the government. Shincheonji is fully cooperating with the quarantine authorities and we ask media outlets who are using the national health emergency as an opportunity to slander Shincheonji Church of Jesus to refrain from making groundless, distorted reports.
We pray for the speedy recovery of everyone who is affected by COVID-19 members of Shincheonji. Shincheonji Church of Jesus will do its best to bring a swift end to the crisis.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus
(This article is also available to read in Spanish (ES) and French (FR). Please check the files attached below.)