SEOUL, South Korea, July 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- "The separation of church and state" is a commonly thrown-around phrase that every educated American is almost certainly familiar with. This revolutionary idea has been intricately woven into the fabric of the government of the United States of America, and subsequently the democracies that the U.S. has influenced and helped establish. These effects are perhaps seen more strongly in none other than America's "little brother," South Korea. How is the doctrine of the "separation of church and state" faring in that country? Thepersecuted.org attempts to answer this question in its latest analysis, Church and State: The Changing Landscape of Religion in South Korea.
Recently during the Coronavirus pandemic, a super-spreader event in February at Shincheonji Church's Daegu branch resulted in the infection of over 4,000 members as well as several deaths. Just this month, the vast majority of those individuals agreed to collaborate with the hospitals and government to donate their blood plasma for the Coronavirus relief effort. This Coronavirus-resistant blood donation is valued at over $8 billion dollars and will potentially result in many saved lives. This is an excellent example of the role religion can play for its society and government.
In the midst of this, the Korean government pressed charges against Shincheonji church. The church and its leaders were indicted on account of an inability to quickly produce a full and correct membership contact list of its 200,000 members worldwide for contract tracing. Several leaders were detained in prison and prosecuted for charges of "murder through willful negligence." and the church's license was also removed.
In these troubling times, thepersecuted.org seeks to provoke thought and dialogue on these social issues for the good of society, especially in light of the pandemic that is sweeping the world. We believe the sovereignty of the individual and the opportunity for each person to hold his or her own beliefs is one of the greatest social innovations of history. The Persecuted is a news source dedicated to the factual research and analysis of human rights violations. For more information, visit thepersecuted.org.