Religious Cult Driving South Korea's New COVID-19 Surge

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  • At least 241 people linked to a little known sect in Cheonan city, south of Seoul, have tested positive for coronavirus in South Korea's recent COVID-19 outbreak
  • Many of the congregation were elderly in their 60s and above and were unvaccinated, city officials said. Only 17 of the 241 confirmed cases had been vaccinated
  • Officials said the ritual act the pastor perfoms is described as "imposition of hands on eyes," a practice of poking two eyes to rid the congregant of a demon or desire
  • “Such act is extremely dangerous and nonbiblical. It is an outright ban in Korean Christianity,” said Jung youn-seok, a head of cult information resources groups in the country
  • The COVID-19 surge is intensifying in South Korea, with hospitals filing up to capacity. According to official data, 71 percent of the ICU beds had filled up nationwide and 83.7 percent incapital Seoul were out of beds