South Korean court approves arrest of head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus for COVID-19 outbreak

Giving its nod on August 1, a South Korean court has approved the arrest of the founder and head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a fringe religious sect in South Korea which is at the centre of the country’s largest batch of COVID-19 infections.

The Suwon District Court gave approved an arrest warrant for Lee Man-hee, the founder of the controversial church that is linked to more than 5,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, or 36 percent of total cases, as of July 31, said the country’s Central Disease Control headquarters. Kept in a detention centre while awaiting the court’s orders, Lee, 89 was directly arrested on early August 1.

Lee, the head of the church is also suspected of submitting false documents on its membership data and information on meeting places to health officials and that even at a time when the height of the outbreak linked to the sect in February.

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