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Appeal of coronavirus-hit cult raises tough questions for South Korea

Controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus boasts over 200,000 members

Lee Man-hee, founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, bows on the floor as he apologizes for his church’s role in spreading the coronavirus at a press conference in Seoul on March 2.   © Yonhap/ Kyodo

SEOUL -- The Shincheonji Church of Jesus has come under the spotlight at home and abroad since the South Korean religious sect became a hotbed of the country's explosively spreading coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea has emerged as one of the major coronavirus hot spots outside mainland China, the epicenter of the outbreak, with the number of infected people already exceeding 6,000, largely due to the mass infection among Shincheonji followers.

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