The founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Lee Man Hee, was arrested in Seoul this Saturday for hindering government efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the first cases of which in South Korea are related to this religious sect.
Lee, 89, is accused of providing false information to health officials about the number of people who attended the Church of Jesus Shincheonji Church celebrations that took place in Seoul in February last year, who were first infected with COVID-19.
According to the Yonhap news agency, he is also accused of appropriating 5.6 billion won from the Shincheonji Church of Jesus and performing unauthorized religious acts between 2015 and 2019.
“There may be debate about some charges, but others have been confirmed. There are also circumstances that indicate systematic attempts to destroy evidence, so it cannot be excluded that similar attempts will be made in the future,” said Judge Lee Myeong Chul’s warrant.