South Korea Holds Leader of Church with Coronavirus Cluster

Αssociated Press

Visitors watch while maintaining social distancing during a re-enactment ceremony of the changing of the Royal Guard at the Gyeongbok Palace, one of South Korea s well-known landmarks, in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean prosecutors have arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect as part of an investigation into allegations the church hampered the government’s anti-corfonavirus response after thousands of worshipers were infected in February and March.

Prosecutors are questioning 88-year-old Lee Man-hee over charges that the Shincheonji Church of Jesus hid some members and underreported gatherings to avoid broader quarantines.

More than 5,200 of the South Korea’s 14,336 confirmed virus cases have been linked to the church.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 31 more confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 23 of the cases were tied to international arrivals.