How South Korea s Evangelical Churches Found Themselves At The Heart Of The Covid Crisis

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Some members of its congregation also attended a large anti-government rally in the capital last weekend that officials believe could have helped the virus spread. The surge in coronavirus cases, reported in all of the country’s major cities, prompted the government to raise social distancing restrictions and close nightclubs, karaoke bars, buffets and cyber-cafes in the greater Seoul region.

"We have asked people and businesses to raise their alert levels," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said, urging social distancing, disinfecting of hands and other measures. The city is working to increase its testing capacity and Koike said it is boosting the ability of hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. Japan has so far avoided the massive cases of the hardest hit nations, with fewer than 24,000 confirmed cases and about 1,000 deaths. It has been trying to keep economic activity while avoiding the virus’s spread, a precarious balancing act of opening restaurants and theaters with limited seating, and having store clerks work behind plastic shielding. — Further restrictions are being imposed on the northwestern Chinese city of Xinjiang following a cluster of new cases.

Positive measures are now being taken by countries, including the Republic of Korea, in an attempt to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control. Across the globe, governments are responding to the new strain of Coronavirus, COVID-19, first detected at the end of 2019 and South Korea is no exception. It is hoped by taking decisive action, such as implementing certain entry restrictions, the spread of COVID-19 will be curbed and normality can resume. Coronavirus has now spread to many nations across the world.

But hanging over the sidewalks are banners criticizing what the church sees as unfair government interference. The pastor, who refused to provide his name, said church members are simply patriots seeking to protect their country's constitutional order from an overreaching administration. South Korea had enjoyed a few months of eased restrictions, after the country's daily number of new cases fell to single digits in the spring.

But the small scale, lack of augmentation forces, and missed training in the spring forced a difficult decision to limit the scope of the exercise and focus on readiness, at the expense of the now-postponed FOC test. While this is a blow to Moon’s agenda, it was a necessary and pragmatic decision that may actually help Moon avoid further obstacles to accomplishing this goal down the line. Had the test occurred under these unusual conditions with a significantly scaled-down and limited exercise, its legitimacy could be called into question by Moon’s opponents.