By Youngsu Won
March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The abrupt mass outbreak of COVID-19 has shocked most of South Korea - with the exception of a small millennial sect.
By March 1, the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 had risen to more than 3700, including 20 confirmed deaths, representing a huge rise compared with the less than 100 cases just two weeks before.
More than 60% of those infected are members of a religious sect: the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Shincheonji means New Heaven and Earth in Korean and implies a millennial Christian utopia. Its leader, Lee Man-hee, controls this monolithic organism from top to bottom.