Blood shortages due to COVID-19 are prevalent across the world. In January, the American Red Cross declared “a national blood crisis” poising a great risk to patient care. In March, a US-based non-profit organization Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) declared the blood “emergency” due to a lack of the stock of type O blood at only 1-2 day supply and appealed to the public participation in a single blood donation that can save up to three lives.
According to the Red Cross, blood is used for a variety of purposes, including serious injuries caused by accidents, surgical procedures, anemia, childbirth, and cancer treatment. But since blood cannot be artificially produced, experts say the only solution to the blood supply lies in donating blood.
In South Korea, in cooperation with Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL), 18,000 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL participated in blood donation for two weeks from April 18th. This number was recorded as the largest group blood donation in the country.
Namsun Cho, head of the Korean Red Cross Blood Services, said, “When the impact of the Omicron reached its peak, Shincheonji Church of Jesus launched a large scale of blood donation. It was like rain during a drought. We are surprised that the number of donors exceeded 6,000 in 3 days and more people participated. We appreciate their life-saving dedication.”
“They did a really great job in the life-sharing movement. This scale is equivalent to one army corps donating blood for a year. The number of blood donors is nearly four times the number in a normal day, a great help in overcoming the current blood supply crisis,” said an official from the Blood Services.
“We also appreciate the members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus who participated in the nationwide plasma donation for the development of a treatment for COVID-19 back in 2020,” he added.
In South Korea, blood donation certificates are issued to blood donors. The certificate can be used when paying for a blood transfusion so that the transfusion fee to patients is deducted. All the donors of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL also donated their certificates to alleviate the financial burden of patients who need blood for treatment.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, headquartered in Gwacheon, South Korea, is contributing to the communities through volunteer activities including plasma and blood donations, although the church suffered greatly from the initial stage of COVID-19 pandemic.
HWPL, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a non-governmental organization under the UN Economic and Social Council and Department of Global Communication is carrying out long-term peace projects through education, relief, and youth empowerment based on solidarity with civil society and international organizations in 193 countries.
Press-release of the HWPL
‘Revelation theology' through an online press conference
I was very impressed that the president testified without even looking at the book of Revelation. And concerning certain events such as the sixth trumpet, again there was a date. How did he know this date with so much precision, until with the time?
-Samuel KABO, Pastor of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Alès-
After participating in Shincheonji Seminar,I realized that there is something new.
I was learning different to what i had learned before.
How can our churches become one within God?
-Celismar Oliveira, Pastor of the Assembly of God Awake in Christ-
On the 18th, an online press conference was held through the Zoom videoconference platform with Mr. Lee Man-hee, chairman of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (hereafter Shincheonji Church), media officials and pastors from 48 European countries.
The Press conference, which was planned at the request of European pastors who had questions related to the explanation of the Revelation who attended Shincheonji online bible seminar. With the growth rate of Christians on the European continent almost stagnant, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus held a meeting to suggest a solution to this situation of the decline.
Face-to-face worship is restricted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and each church is having difficulty in missionary work. However, the number of members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus is increasing, and attention is focused on the background.
In an online press conference on the 18th, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus cited the fact that unlike other churches, the cause of the increase in the number of church members was “testifying the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Bible.”
Chairman Lee Man-hee replied to the reporter's question that the reason for the growth of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus was that he could testify the meaning and reality of the Revelation that other denominations could not solve.
Chairman Lee said, if pastors study the Revelation and teach church members, the church will revive.
In fact, many pastors and churches have signed an MOU with Shincheonji Church of Jesus and are actively pursuing them.
The message of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which presented learning about the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible for pastors as a solution to revive European Christianity, is drawing attention.
Press-release of the HWPL
Philippines, Americas after Africa! Online press conference with about 300 journalists from 55 African countries
I wish everyone across the world will come and study the word from Shincehonji seminar to change people’s life. – Ugnada, Stephen Ogwang, secretary general of born again churches
I have never encountered the word of God before, I have only learned from Shincheonji.
– South Africa, Daisyman Goniwe, Independent Methodist Church
On the 28th, an Africa Press Conference of Shincheonji Church: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings was held through the Zoom platform with Man Hee Lee, chairman of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony(Shincheonji Church) and journalists from 55 African countries. This press conference was planned at the request of African journalists and pastors and was hosted by Shincheonji Church.
The organization of Shincheonji Church, announced that it had planned a press conference to inform the true meaning of the New Testament in the Bible. The press conference started with the introduction of Shincheonji Church. And after The results of the Revelation seminar held last year were shared, followed by the Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meaning, which started in January of this year.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus has testified the prophecies and fulfillment recorded in the Book of Revelation to the world through YouTube for a total of 10 weeks from October last year. It has recorded 8 million cumulative views on YouTube so far. Through this seminar, Shincheonji Church signed MOUs with more than 1,200 pastors and seminaries in 57 countries (of which 235 MOUs were signed in 16 countries in Africa). And now Shincheonji church is supporting the exchange of the word of the Bible to each church and seminary.
The journalists who attended asked questions about the Revelation seminar and introduction seminar, which they heard objectively from the reporter's point of view, and how they felt about Shincheonji. The chairman Man Hee Lee, who was directly present at the press conference, answered plans after the MOU and questions about the seminars clearly.
Chairman Lee said that he especially loves Africa among global village and that he hopes Africans who have good faiths would come into the Word and get to understand God’s stance and His Will.
Long with that, he stated that the secret of the heaven is recorded with parables in the Bible, and he hopes that whole world would understand the true meaning of parable through word seminar so that they could believe in it and reach salvation.
Furthermore, Chairman Lee asked all the press associates to promote that there is a testimony on the prophecy and fulfillment of Revelation and the secrets of kingdom of heaven available to everyone today.
"Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings" which is an on-going seminar that uncovers the meaning of the parable begun on the 3rd of January will be broadcasted 2 times a week on Monday and Thursday through Shincheonji YouTube Channel in 24 different languages.
Press-release of the HWPL
Amid a global decline in the religious population, a clear explanation of the Bible has drawn more than 140,000 believers to the church and the attention of millions.
“Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” is held by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. This round of seminars focusing on understanding parables written in the Bible in the New Testament will be on Youtube live-stream on every Monday and Thursday on 4am(GMT+3: local time / 10am Korea Time) from January 3rd to March 28th.
“Parables are the key element to understanding the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. The prophecy of the Old Testament was fulfilled at the time of Jesus in his first coming. Now Jesus left his prophecy of the New Testament to be fulfilled “when the time comes” (John 16:25). We are heading towards the true meaning as the prophecy is revealed,” said an official of the church.
The previous seminars on the book of Revelation for the last three months on YouTube were released in 24 languages and reached 7 million views in 136 countries including 16,000 pastors as participants. Shincheonji Church of Jesus said that 1,200 global church leaders in 57 countries have signed MOUs with the church to boost international cooperation and exchanges for educational support.
As for the signing, Pastor Jerry Hagerman of Wayside Mission Church in Virginia, USA, said, “I want to be able to grow in the word and I want to teach out congregation ... and help bring them from death to life. I want to be one with God's kingdom and have open communication."
In a recent report in December 2021 from Peu Research Center's National Public Opinion Reference Surveys, 3 out of 10 adults in the United States are now religiously unaffiliated. The most affected in the fall in the religious population is the Protestant among Christian denominations that has shown steady decrease from 52% in 2007 to 40% in 2021.
This trend is also reflected by another investigation from Lifeway Research in Nashville that says most Americans consider Jesus as a historical fact but religiously have no biblical knowledge about why he came. According to the report, only 9% of the 1,005 respondents knew that his mission was to give open words (fulfillment) of the Old Testament.
On the other side of the globe, an increasing number of people are affiliated with religion. Contrary to the decrease in traditional denominations, over 140,000 people have joined the Shincheonji Church of Jesus after the Bible education course since 2019 and the subsequent COVID-19.
The official of Shincheonji Church of Jesus said, “Across the world, more and more people are experiencing diseases, disasters, and hardships due to COVID-19, thinking deeply about the meaning of life and suffering. Religion must be able to provide answers to these people. In the religious world where face-to-face activities are limited, education should reach out to every individual in local communities.”
“What the Shincheonji Church appeals to people is the clear explanation of Jesus' mission in the New Testament,” he continued.
(You can watch the seminar by searching “Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” on YouTube or through the link https://www.youtube.com/c/ShincheonjiChurchofJesus)
Press-release of the HWPL
Amid the corona crisis, which causes about 500,000 confirmed cases and 8,000 deaths a day worldwide, a Korean-based religious organization called Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (hereinafter referred to as Shincheonji Church) hosted an online prayer meeting, “3rd Global Prayer Service of Religious People” on November 15th.
Broadcast live on the official YouTube channel of Shincheonji Church, the prayer meeting was organized to pray for not only the patients and their families in sufferings but also the government, medical staff, and volunteers fighting to overcome COVID-19. Along with 200,000 domestic and foreign members of Shincheonji Church, about 56,000 people around the world wishing to defeat this pandemic joined the prayer meeting at the same time.
Religious leaders from all over the world added their aspirations for the end of COVID-19 in the online prayer meeting. Their words carried the weight and sincerity as they have continued to work with Chairman Man Hee Lee, a representative of an international peace NGO called HWPL
Chairman Lee, as a war veteran, has practiced peace activities based on the love for humanity toward many victims of war and the words of Jesus, “glory in heaven and peace on earth,” as a believer. He suggested an online prayer meeting because “as the world is suffering from COVID-19, religious people around the world need to pray together to end this disaster."
“Too many people are suffering from COVID-19. In particular, many were infected within our church last February. Both the church members and citizens suffered a lot. We must actively step forward and pray to God for the extinction of COVID-19 in the globe and for the nation and the people,” he said.
352 religious leaders from Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and Hinduism, representing 73 countries participated in the prayer meeting with one heart transcending religions and denominations. They shared the need of overcoming the crisis by taking the lead in resolving a disaster as religious leaders.
Dr. Anak Agung Diatmika, Secretary for International Relationship of PHDI Jakarta, said, “Genuinely from the inner of our heart consider as WE ARE ONE. We should continue our prayer till the end of the COVID-19 pandemic from the earth and continue our synergy among world religious leaders to keep the world peace, harmony, justice, and prosperity. I am so happy I can join this that truly brings world peace and harmony.”
Following this prayer meeting, about 4,000 recovered patients from COVID-19 who are also Shincheonji Church members will donate blood plasma to develop convalescent plasma treatments. Shincheonji Church has already conducted two large-scale plasma donation of 1,700 church members last July and September, and among them, 312 recovered patients donated twice.
Regarding the large-scale blood plasma donation, Rt. Hon. Hrant Bagratyan, Former Prime Minister of Armenia, sent his congratulatory message, “the action of those who decided to donate plasma at the request of the government deserves praise. If a vaccine is developed through plasma donation, it would be helpful worldwide."
A Shincheonji Church official said, “We have been conducting online service since February 18th, and praying at each worship service for the end of COVID-19, the safety of the quarantine authorities and medical staff, and the recovery of the patients. We will do everything we can with a responsible attitude until the end of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Press-release of HWPL
South Korea: Plasma Donation by Shincheonji Church Facilitates Development of the Vaccine for COVID-19Friday, 28 August 2020 10:02
On August 27th, over 1,000 members of religious organization called Shincheonji Church of Jesus participated in donating plasma for the cure of COVID-19.
This is carried out under the invitation of the health authorities in South Korea back on 24th, asking Shincheonji Church to cooperate for donating additional plasma for the development of the vaccine.
Early this year, around 5,000 confirmed cases were found in Shincheonji Church members with most infections from the city of Daegu, while most of them recovered from the virus with 11 deaths.
According to the report from the Korea Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (KCDC), 562 recovered members from the church registered to donate plasma and 409 completed donation in July through the cooperation between KCDC and Shincheonji Church. Facing the need for “facilitation of developing a cure through plasma donation and clinical trial”, the KCDC asked another round of a large-scale donation by members of Shincheonji Church in August.
The KCDC in its official document expressed appreciation to Shincheonji Church (Chairman Lee, Man Hee) for “active participation in the collection of plasma as a group for the development of corona(virus) cure for the purpose of national health safety under the global crisis caused by the COVID-19.”
“With the cooperation of Daegu city, Daegu Athletics Center plans to provide GC Pharma equipment and personnel (for the donation) from 27th August to 4th September. We express our gratitude to the city for providing a location for the group donations. We also express our gratitude to the congregation members of the religious organization, Shincheonji to be specific,” said Mr. Kwon Jun-wook, Deputy Director of the KCDC.
Research and development of the convalescent plasma treatment is underway by National Institute of Health under the Ministry of Health and Welfare in cooperation with Green Cross (GC) Pharma, a biotechnology company in South Korea.
On the same day, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an emergency use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19. Experts say that more data need to be collected to see the benefit of such treatment.
Major challenges of researching the effectiveness and the development of convalescent plasma treatment come from limited supply from donors who must be recovered from the virus.
As a religious leader, Chairman Lee, Man Hee of Shincheonji in July said, “This (plasma donation) is the work that needs to be done as citizens of this country and as true believers. It is keeping the command of Jesus of loving your neighbor as yourself (Mt 22:39 of the Bible).”
Source: The South Korea Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.
Global Leaders Urge South Korean Government and the UN to Correct Religious Oppression in the Name of Covid-19 QuarantineThursday, 20 August 2020 14:18
As the spread of coronavirus continues to increase around the world, voices from the international community are rising to stop religious oppression occurring in South Korea, known as an exemplary case for Covid-19 quarantine.
On August 17th, the Coalition of Caribbean Leaders for Peace (CCLP) consisting of the former and current leaders in the Caribbean including the former president of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sent a joint letter to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
In the letter, they said the governments, even in response to the urgency of the pandemic, must take responsibility for the protection of human rights regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status and expressed concern about ongoing oppression against Shincheonji Church, a South Korea-based Christian denomination that suffered from the unexpected mass infection at the beginning of this year.
Ahead of this joint letter, 11 NGOs including the European Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience (CAP-LC) submitted the “annual report for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights” regarding the inappropriately targeted discrimination against Shincheonji Church to the UN Secretary-General.
The annual report was titled “Scapegoating Members of Shincheonji for COVID-19 in the Republic of Korea”.
The letter briefly pointed out the facts surrounding Shincheonji and Covid-19 as follows;
〮 Covid-19 was introduced to South Korea from China.
〮 According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus was already prevalent in the city of Daegu before the confirmation of (Shincheonji) the Patient 31 (in Daegu).
〮 The government’s refusal to close the border to China contributed heavily to the outbreak.
〮 In the face of growing public discontent that the government did not impose a travel restriction on China, Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae ordered the prosecution to investigate Shincheonji.
〮 Vice Minister of Health confirmed that the list of private identification information gathered was not much different than that collected and checked by the government.
〮 Prosecutors have arrested the officials of Shincheonji on the grounds that the list of congregation members submitted by Shincheonji was not complete.
By referring to the report “Factsheet on the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on religious practice and religious freedom” by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the joint letter reiterated that South Korea provides a vivid example of how public health emergencies can increase the risk to marginalized religious groups.
They pointed out that the South Korean government's silence about the current situation would set a dangerous global precedent for allowing similar persecution, violence, and harassment against other religious minorities, and strongly urged the Korean government to “step forward to an end to this discrimination.”
Source: the Coalition of Caribbean Leaders for Peace (CCLP)