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South Korea: Seoul Church To Face Legal Action For Holding Services Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea on April 5 took legal action against a protestant church which broke administration’s rules forbidding public gatherings

South Korea: Seoul church to face legal action for holding services amid COVID-19 pandemic

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea on April 5 took legal action against a protestant church which broke the administration’s rules forbidding public gatherings.  In an unprecedented development, South Korea has till now reported 16,237 cases of infection and 183 deaths.

According to reports, Sarang Jeil Church pressed ahead with service for the second consecutive Sunday on April 5. The church was previously banned by the city authorities from holding mass gatherings after it broke the social distancing rule on March 22, a South Korean news agency reported.

Recommendations for churches 

In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the nation, the government has recommended that all the churches must check the temperatures of their followers, and should maintain a minimum distance of two meters during service. However, Sarang Jeil Church flouted these guidelines in March and then again ignored Government’s orders against offline services on April 5.

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The church officials in their defence said that only pre-registered followers were allowed to attend the service and were kept at least a meter apart from one another. On April 5, the city government sent three staffers to check if they were adhering to quarantine rules or not and found that they were not. In addition, authorities sent some police officials to guard against potential clashes. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency reportedly said that it has all 517 officers stationed at 206 religious facilities across the city.

The Asian nation extended its social distancing measure which was due to end on April 4 by another two weeks until April 19 in an effort to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus. The country is reporting over 100 cases of infection in a day, from being the second worst-hit country at the time the outbreak spiralled out of China, as per media reports. 

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