It’s the secretive South Korean cult whose leader claims to be Jesus Christ’s envoy on earth and whose coronavirus-infected followers have incubated more than half the country’s 4330-plus known cases.
The mysterious Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which has hundreds of Australian devotees, is led by 88-year-old Lee Man-hee.
The elderly cult leader is being accused of murder after the exploding coronavirus outbreak in South Korea has registered the largest cluster of infections among his followers.
As the number of confirmed cases doubled in just one day, the majority of them have been linked to a single Shincheonji worshipper known as Patient 31.
Patient 31 is a 61-year-old woman, who recently attended at least four services at the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Daegu, a city 240km southwest of the capital Seoul.
The woman the fell ill and tested positive for coronavirus and now 60 per cent of South Korea’s cases are linked to the cult.
Just last weekend, 239 new coronavirus patients were discovered.
Daegu, South Korea’s fourth-largest city, has now been placed into lockdown, its 2.5m residents told to stay indoors as heavily suited and masked workers disinfect the streets.
Shincheonji followers believe their leader Lee Man-hee is “immortal”, but after being threatened with murder charges the cult leader has been forced to come out in public.