With the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID19) infection centered on churches in the Seoul metropolitan area, the Protestant community has urged all churches in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon to switch to online worship for the next two weeks to prevent further spread of collective infection.
The Korean Federation of Korean Churches (from hereon KFKC), the nation's largest Protestant organization released a statement in the name of the co-chairmen on August 18th. They requested all churches to "review the conditions of the region and the church, convert all worship into a non-face-to-face service in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, and Incheon for the next two weeks - Stop all small groups, meals in the churches, and social gatherings."
The KFKC stated, "We hope that all churches, pastors, and church members will take the lead in preventing the infection of the COVID19 with the understanding that they are the facade of the Korean churches... Please understand that the church is the front line of quarantine and we must do our best to prevent any vulnerability to the virus. We hope that those who participated in the rally where there was a confirmed case, or anyone who came into contact with the participants will voluntarily quarantine themselves and quickly get an examination."
The KFKC also stated, "We deeply apologize. The Korean churches did their best to comply with the COVID19 quarantine guidelines, however, it became a channel for the spread of infections in the community through one particular church that failed to comply with the quarantine rules. We regret that pastor Jeon Kwang Hoon's Love First Church has become a political group that has not remained within its original religious activities. We hope that the church will return to its original form as soon as possible, and hope that the church members and visitors will actively receive examination for the virus and cooperate with the quarantine guidelines."
The Korean Council of Christian Pastors (hereafter KCCP, a coalition of pastors of 14 Protestant churches, also issued a statement saying, "Some churches did not properly comply with the COVID19 prevention guidelines for public health and safety. Therefore, we also feel responsible as we are those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. We take responsibility for the rapid increase in the number of COVID19 cases confirmed nationwide."
The KCCP reiterated its call for the churches to accurately recognize the government's and the religious body's quarantine guidelines. They advised all churches to closely cooperate with quarantine authorities in each region, while thoroughly following the quarantine measures.
The KCCP also stated, "We request more solid measures against pastor Jeon Kwang Hoon of the Love First Church as he is the individual who has caused public rage after being pinpointed as the cause of the explosive rise in COVID19 infections."
Previously, SBS News reported that the coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the country as more infections occur in various facilities such as daycare centers. One individual who was tested positive was a daycare teacher who came into contact with 130 children.
It was revealed that this daycare teacher was a member of pastor Jeon Kwang Hoon's Love First Church. She had attended service at the Love First Church on August 8th and 9th, and even attended the massive rally at Gwanghwamun on the 15th.
Many parents are enraged as the teacher did not realize the severity and dangers of the virus as she possibly exposed young children to the virus. Currently, the daycare center has been closed and all the children are quickly being tested for the virus.