Coronavirus-stricken South Korean church could face murder investigation

The leaders of a shadowy South Korean church linked to a coronavirus outbreak could face a murder probe, according to a report.

South Korean prosecutors have been called on to investigate the Shincheonji Church of Jesus founder Lee Man-hee and other leaders of the sect for allegedly dangerous health behavior, the New York Times reported.

The controversial religious group, which many mainstream churches consider a cult, has hundreds of members who tested positive for the coronavirus after congregants traveled to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus broke out in December, CNN reported.

Yet Duhyen Kim, a former member, claimed that attendees are not allowed to wear masks while praying because it would be “disrespectful to God.”

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon likened the congregation’s behavior to “murder through… willful negligence” in a Facebook post, the New York Times reported.

South Korea has reported more than 3,700 cases with at least 18 deaths.

Meanwhile, there have been more than 87,000 cases across the world in 58 countries.

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