0307 Chairman Man Hee Lee asks "all congregants to fully cooperate for disease control" in a special announcement
Chairman Man Hee Lee asks "all congregants
to fully cooperate for disease control"
in a special announcement
“No Screening, No Service even after Church Goes Back to Normal”: Strongest Measure Taken
Chairman Man Hee Lee of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji Church of Jesus) once again appealed to the church members asking every congregant to cooperate with quarantine efforts in a special announcement made on 7 March.
According to the formal notice, the church told its congregation members:
- anyone who develops symptoms related to COVID-19 must be tested
- those whose occupations are in medicine, nursing homes, and public facilities must be tested regardless of presenting symptoms, and
- all other church members with no signs of symptoms are also strongly encouraged to screen for the virus
Notably, the announcement included one of the most rigorous measures, which a religious group can take in cooperation with disease control and prevention. It stated that congregation members who have not tested for the virus would not be allowed to attend service even after the spread of COVID-19 subdues and church services are back to normal.
Before the recent announcement, Shincheonji Church of Jesus has continuously engaged its congregation to vigilantly cooperate with public health authorities in four of the special letters from the chairman and 20 formal notices issued by the church headquarters.
One official at Shincheonji Church of Jesus said, "It is deeply regretful that we had some cases of violation of self-quarantine rules, and some other churchgoers tested positive and caused fellow citizens to suffer damage before they could identify themselves as a member of Shincheonji Church. We sincerely apologize for this." and added, "when the infection spread among our congregation, Shincheonji Church of Jesus has no reason to hide the list of names or deliberately disrupt the examinations."
"While the church is complying with all requests from the authorities, admittedly, there are situations where it is difficult to keep control over all aspects of 210,000 people. There are misunderstandings for that reason, but it is not that the church is being uncooperative by any means," the official pleaded.
"Currently, an overwhelming majority of the congregation of over 90% is faithfully adhering to government measures. As the public health authorities stated, there were no accounts of intentional noncooperation," the official said as he stressed on the church’s commitment to doing its part to stop the contagion. "The decision of Chairman Man Hee Lee to take rigorous measures and prohibit anyone from coming to service if they do not cooperate with public health authorities only stresses the church's will to do everything that we can to help end COVID-19."