Since Monday 16 November thousands of members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in South Korea have been arriving at the Indoor Athletics Stadium in Daegu City to participate in donating much-needed blood plasma.
This will be the third drive in which members of the church who fully recovered from COVID-19 participate to help others fight the virus with plasma treatment. The donation drive will continue for the next three weeks and about 4,000 members of the church are expected to participate.
Shincheonji, an international church group with more than 200,000 members worldwide, was severely hit in February this year with thousands of its members being infected by COVID-19 and lead to great distress, with infections rising in South Korea.
Mr Man Hee Lee, the chairman of Shincheonji Church said in a statement that,
“Too many people are suffering because of COVID-19, especially with those who were infected in church last February that cause distress to the members and the citizens (of South Korea).”
He urged members of the church to help in the fight against COVID-19 by donating their blood plasma.
In some countries blood plasma treatment yielded great success with the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) stating,
“It is necessary to quickly develop plasma treatment through group plasma donations, in the current absence of an effective treatment in the midst of the continuous occurrence of COVID-19 at home and abroad.”
“We are grateful for the active participation of Shincheonji, and for the cooperation of the City of Daegu,” Mr Kwon Joon-wook deputy director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters in South Korea said in a press statement.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lee acknowledged that millions of people worldwide are suffering physically but also financially as a result of coronavirus and called for this past weekend to pray for our global society affected by the ongoing pandemic. A Global Interfaith Prayer Event was held simultaneously around the world with more than 200,000 in attendance from 73 countries, including hundreds from southern Africa.
“We should actively put in our effort and pray to God for the people, and for the pandemic to end,” Mr. Lee said while urging all people of faith to gather to pray for an effective vaccine to be made available worldwide as soon as possible.
Many religious leaders from southern Africa answered this call for prayer and joined with the global faith community on Sunday 15 November by participating in this online interfaith event which was live-streamed on YouTube.
“The significance of praying together as religious leaders, it’s incomparable. It’s high time that we unite in prayer and when we unite in prayer, miracles begin to happen,” Rev Phumzile Stofile, Vice Chairperson of the ANC Chaplaincy in South Africa said after the prayer event.
According to the founder of Shincheonji, the Global Prayer Event is especially meaningful in that it transcends different Christian denominations and religions to take charge of overcoming this crisis.
With thousands of people of faith having participated in the global prayer event, one such participant said,
“I have realized that the power to overcome COVID-19 is tolerance, love and unity. We will put in our utmost effort to overcome COVID-19.”