The city of Seoul has confirmed they have filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office against the Shincheonji Church, founder and head general of the church Lee Man Hee, and 12 others branch heads for murder, causing injury, and failure to prevent the spread of infectious disease, Corona19 (COVID-19).
Starting with patient 31, who was confirmed to have been infected on February 18, the number Shincheonji members infected are more than half the total number of cases in South Korea. In addition, more cases and deaths were confirmed at the Cheongdo Daenam Hospital, where Lee Man Hee and other senior members of the church attended the funeral of Lee Man Hee’s older brother.
Under the current circumstances in South Korea, people are obligated to voluntarily undergo examination to prevent the further spread of the virus. However, the defendants are refusing to be examined, and did not take action to have the church fully cooperate with authorities to prevent the further transmission of the Corona19 virus.
The list of worshipers who attended the Shincheonji masses that was submitted to local governments was found to have some members omitted from the list, even though they were present at the mass and other lists had false names listed. This has raised suspicions that the church is purposely interfering with the health authorities’ business.
Such acts by the defendants constitute as murder and causing injury under criminal law, and they were also accused of violating the law of prevention of infectious diseases by submitting false lists of church members.
Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul, released a statement on their legal action against the Shincheonji church.
The prosecution should carry out a swift and strict investigation into the leadership of Shincheonji, who is in charge of this incident, to ensure that a severe punishment is handed out to them.
— Park Won Soon