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Religious Leaders Speak Out Against South Korea’s Scapegoating of Church after Members Test Positive for Covid-19

Southern Africa Religious Leaders Speak Out

Religious leaders and NGOs in association with the United Nations around the globe have raised their voices on the need to correct inappropriate persecution and human rights violations against a South Korea religious group, Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

From Southern Africa, fourteen (14) religious leaders from the Christian, Islam, Hindu, the Church of Scientology, Hare Khrishna, and the Bruma Kumaris submitted video messages and open letters to the Korean Government urging the state to drop the charges and lawsuits against church leader, Man Hee Lee.

Spiritual leader, Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft of the African Jewish Congress wrote, “I implore you to rather channel your energy and effort in working to find the cure for this deadly virus, rather than to focus on direct anger at Chairman Lee who through his efforts is bringing unity, respect, tolerance and most importantly peace in the world.”

In a video recording Reverend Mathias Tsine, Secretary-General of Federation for Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe stated, “We are peace messengers, we support his vision, we advocate for freedom of religion as contained in the UN Charter”. The Reverend also added, “Mr. Lee never used HWPL to pursue the interest of the church as falsely reported by critics bent on putting his personality into disrepute.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020, the Shincheonji congregation members have been singled out by the government as being responsible for a coronavirus outbreak in the country. Recent developments in an ongoing court case against the religious group have led to an $82 million lawsuit, confiscation of buildings, and arrests of some church officials.

National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at South Africa, Mansoor Zahid wrote, “I wonder how a government of the Republic of Korea try to persecute and ban the activity of such a peaceful person and his church, it is actually a disgrace to humanity and it is against religious freedom.”

In his statement Swami Vedanand Saraswati of Durban, South Africa, shared, “I firmly believe that the Chairman, a man of great integrity, has done and continues to do all in his power to aid in fighting against the COVID-19 virus, and assist the relevant authorities where possible.”

The leader and founder of Shincheonji, who has publicly apologized for the part that the church played in spreading the virus, has committed to doing everything to help and cooperate with authorities. As a token of goodwill, 4,000 Shincheonji members who have recovered from COVID-19 committed to donating their blood plasma for research for therapies to treat the novel virus. From the 13th to the 17th of July, 500 Shincheonji

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporter
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.


  1. It is encouraging to see religious leaders and NGOs coming together to stand against the violation of human rights and the freedom of religion. I hope that more members of the international community can bring this issue to light and we can bring a stop to the injustices this church is facing.

  2. Thank you for this article. It is heartbreaking to hear of what South Korean government is doing to the man who is working for peace. We need to unite in order to survive this pandemic

  3. Thank you for making known what has been taking place in South Korea. It is really worrying to see that in this day and age we are still seeing human rights violations taking place. We should work together to stop the spread of the COVID-19 and stope scapegoating!

  4. If we can unite and work together, we can beat this virus and make the world a better place ! Thank you for such an article.

  5. Thank you for the article. It’s very sad that such things are still happening. Praying this will be resolved soon.

  6. It’s quite disappointing seeing human rights being violated in a country which was once plagued with wars. I am however happy that such stories are published.

  7. It is so good to see how people across the world from such different backgrounds are uniting to support each other and stand for basic human rights such as religious freedom. I’m glad I came across this article and I think the world should be shown more stories like these through the news, especially while we are all facing this pandemic together.

  8. Thank you for this article, it is truly amazing to see all religious leaders coming together and uniting to take a stand against the injustice faced. Let’s all unite to create awareness and put an end to this.

  9. Great to see that this situation is being brought to light.The mistreatment of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and Chairman Lee must come to an end, justice must be served.

  10. This is so beautiful, seeing all religions uniting as one for peace and love.Which is what we really need right now. We can’t blame 1 person for covvid-19.We all suffering from this virus.And together we will win with love and uniting.

  11. Thank you for this article its truly encouraging to see leaders from different religions come together against such issues , really inspiring .

  12. Its so incredible to see people stand up for each other! We need this to happen in South Korea ASAP and the scapegoating must come to an end!

  13. Thank you for this article and bringing awareness to such a great story. It has been enlightening.

  14. Thank you so much for reporting on this. I think it’s so encouraging to see how leaders come together to make their voices heard. It really is unfortunate to see Chairman Lee and his church being accused like this.

  15. This is truly sad that one can’t even practice freedom of religion in the 20th century, I hope this receives much exposure and publicity so that this abuse against the church may stop

    • Thank you for this insightful article. It is truly sad to see what is being done to Chairman Man Hee Lee and his church. It is truly good to see so many people standing on the side of justice. We are all one for religious freedom!

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