Shincheonji has survived negative media attention and COVID-19-now turning the other cheek members prepare to heal the world through plasma therapy
Chicago, IL — During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Shincheonji Church of Jesus in South Korea has withstood an alarming amount of scrutiny by the government and media but have responded with humbled cooperation and philanthropy to aid in a global cure for the coronavirus.
Even as cases top 9.4 Million worldwide, Shincheonji Church faces some of the worst religious persecution experienced in what should be a democratic country. The Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers has written a white paper exposing human rights and religious freedom violations that the Shincheonji members are still overcoming. Yet they have repeatedly responded with complete respect for the public and the Korean government.
In the city of Daegu, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus (SCJ) and its leader Lee Man-hee have been sued for $82.3 Million. Daegu officials have claimed the church impeded containment efforts, which was proven false. In fact the opposite is true. In the early weeks of the pandemic, the church provided all necessary member information for contact tracing to be conducted.
When more than half the cases in South Korea were being linked to congregation members at SCJ in March, the church offered to donate $10M to the government for relief efforts in Daegu. But it was later rejected by Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin.
Though members who had recovered from COVID-19 were only encouraged by Lee Man-hee, over 4,000 in Daegu have volunteered to donate plasma for COVID-19 research that has potential to lead to a cure. “Many recovered church members wanted to donate to express thanks to the government and medical staff,” says SCJ media coordinator Kim Young-eun.
With no vaccine available, plasma research is vital to lowering the number of deaths and finding a viable treatment. According to the National Institute of Health prior to SCJ members volunteering to donate, only a few 185 people had come forward to donate plasma. Using the plasma from recovered patients, doctors hope to create antibodies that will help the body defend itself against the disease.
SCJ is a peaceful international Christian organization that protects the privacy of their members as well as their right to practice their religion freely. SCJ continues to cooperate fully with the Korean Government and Mayor’s office in Daegu, as well as with all investigations. In-person services haven’t been held in over four months to protect the health of members.