Shincheonji Sect Donates W12 Billion to Coronavirus Fight

  • By Lee Min-seok

    March 06, 2020 12:58

    The secretive Shincheonji sect has donated W12 billion to help the fight against coronavirus that it did much to spread in Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province (US$1=W1,186).

    The sect has become a hotbed of infections, with thousands of followers testing positive for the disease and many more quarantined.

    In a surprise move on Thursday it sent W10 billion to the Community Chest of Korea's Daegu branch and another W2 billion to the charity's headquarters.

    "We were unable to run a donation campaign immediately, so the money was collected from our 12 branches across the nation, with each contributing W1 billion," a Shincheonji staffer said. "We will do our utmost to help address the shortage of hospital beds and supplies and ensure patients get necessary treatment," the sect said in a statement.

    A military vehicle sprays disinfectant on a street near a Shincheonji church in Gwangju on Tuesday. /Newsis

    Lee Man-hee, the leader of the sect, pledged to spare no "human and material support" in an awkward and fumbling press conference earlier this week.

    However, a staffer at the Community Chest said it is still debating whether to accept the donation from the secretive sect, which is under investigation for obstructing epidemiological work by refusing tests for the virus and other violations like embezzlement and breach of trust.

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