“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” This is a quote from dictator Adolph Hitler, a quote that we should pay careful attention to as we remember that Hitler was the “Führer” or “leader” of Germany at that time. I bring up this piece of history, in which religious minorities were tortured and killed, to bring light to a similar injustice happening in South Korea.
Shincheonji caused COVID-19!
The religious organization, Shincheonji, is a minority group that is facing severe and unwarranted punishment simply for their religion. Shincheonji is a non profit organization that, just like any other church, hosts services at no cost.
However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainstream media and the Christian Council of Korea (the CCK) have been persecuting members of Shincheonji with false allegations and have been looking for a way to put an end to the religious organization. The CCK is responsible for defamation against Shincheonji.
Because of their attacks against Shincheonji, members have had to hide their religious affiliation from family, friends, and coworkers.
What really happened in Daegu?
After the South Korean government kept its borders open, 30 patients were confirmed to have contracted the virus. These were all people not acquainted with Shincheonji, but the 31st confirmed patient was a member of Shincheonji.
The CCK, however, has coaxed the media and society into scapegoating the virus outbreak on Shincheonji, completely putting the blame on the group for the virus outbreak in South Korea.
Although there is more than enough evidence to acquit the minority group, there has been a big push to have members of the group arrested and even kicked out from society, which is a violation of members’ religious freedom and human rights.
Members of the CCK have harassed members of the minority group, which has led many to fear for their lives and caused some Shincheonji members to take their own lives in distress. Shincheonji members are being discriminated against and hated. However, Shincheonji has always cooperated with the government.
Should this have happened? Looking ahead from the Shincheonji case
We have the rights as humans to practice our beliefs as we please. This is not a suggestion, but a law and an agreement amongst nations. We must always do our duty in protecting this law. We cannot allow for governments and religious powers to enact unjustified and illicit consequences upon a religious minority because they “don’t agree” with their doctrines. No one is above the law.
The press and religious leaders should be held accountable for any discrimination and defamation of a religion or group especially when the provided “information” is proven false. If the media tells a big enough lie and tells it frequently enough, it WILL be heard. This should be the quote of oppression, the quote to advocate for and protect minority groups.
This is the time to stand, a time to advocate for and protect one another. Our press and media are not allowed to force us to believe what they want, but it is our right to practice our own beliefs, free from discrimination and persecution. Let us raise our voice for Shincheonji and hold the the CCK accountable for the human rights violations and crimes they have accrued. Justice for Shincheonji!