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Church coronavirus cluster puts South Korea on edge

Defiant religious group under fire after holding large outdoor rally at weekend

Members of the Sarang Jeil Church attend a large anti-government rally in Seoul on Saturday.   © Yonhap/Kyodo

SEOUL -- As morning broke, groups of men wearing masks and talking on walkie talkies stood guard along the narrow streets leading to the Sarang Jeil Church, the focal point of a new coronavirus outbreak in South Korea.

Outside the church in a poor neighborhood of northeastern Seoul, blocks of empty buildings slated for redevelopment add to the end-of-days atmosphere. Piles of rubbish and discarded belongings were scattered around.

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