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Sat Aug 1, 2020, 10:01 AM

Coronavirus: South Korean Shincheonji sect leader arrested

South Korea has arrested the leader of a religious sect linked to the country's largest coronavirus outbreak.

Lee Man-hee, 88, heads the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. More than 5,000 of its members became infected, making up 36% of all Covid-19 cases in the country.

The authorities accuse him of hiding information about the group's members and gatherings from contact tracers.
Mr Lee is also accused of embezzling 5.6bn won ($4.7m; 3.6m) and holding unapproved religious events.


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Reply Coronavirus: South Korean Shincheonji sect leader arrested (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Aug 1 OP
bluedye33139 Aug 1 #1

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 11:04 AM

1. I lived in Korea for a little under 2 years

I was always amazed at the religious fervor of my friends and neighbors.

I dated a guy from an evangelical family, almost holy rollers. Every car trip began with loud and enthusiastic prayers for safety, prosperity, and joy. They were incredibly loving and positive people, and it opened my eyes to the idea that religion doesn't have to be about politics and attacking people.

The history of religion in Korea is really fascinating. For instance, the Confucian scholars ruled society with a brutal, joyless regime of power and control. Then, one day, an emperor saw handsome and cute Buddhist monks in their orange robes and shaved heads splashing around in a river, and he invited them to the palace. He converted to Buddhism very soon after. A blend of Buddhism and Confucianism is the basis for most Korean religious thinking.

The Christian overlay is also important. Centuries ago, Koreans self-converted to Christianity and are enthusiastic Christians in many cases. What they love about Christianity is the joy, the positivity, the fellowship. It's a really interesting view of Christianity.

A lot of organizations have a cult styled setup. You have an authoritarian leader who is thought of as divine, and he or sometimes she operates as a direct link with the divine.

Some other famous offshoots from Korean religiosity include the unification church, which has many elements of Korean religion but the style and culture of the group is antithetical to Korean norms. The unification church leaders live in North America because their gun worship and bizarre practices would probably be problematic back home on the Korean peninsula.

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