Amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, rumors have surfaced that some celebrities are affiliated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a cult linked to the massive surge in infections of Corona19.
The health authorities have confirmed that a very large number of COVID-19 infections occurred at Shincheonji services, and many people came into close contact with those who attended them have also contracted the virus.
Celebrities whose names were included on a list of “those who are suspected to be the members of the cult”, are now fighting back against the rumors.
Actor Lee Dong-wook’s agency said that it would take legal actions against all rumor-mongers. “We recently heard a rumor that our artist is connected with a certain religious group. That’s not true and we’ll take legal action against those who spread false rumors, or malicious slander against the artist,” the agency said.
FNC Entertainment, which represents comedians Yoo Jae-suk and Jung Hyung-don, released a statement denying their involvement with Shincheonji. “Recently our artists have been accused of being part of this cult related to the infections of COVID-19. As a matter of fact, none of our artists belongs to the cult,” FNC Entertainment said in a statement.
“We are very concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak as it has infected tens of thousands of people around the world. However, we will not stand by and allow groundless rumors to spread. We’ll take strong legal action against those who continue to spread the rumors.”
Singer-turned-actress Nam Gyu-ri also spoke out against a claim that she was a member of Shincheonji. “Rumors have been circulating in online communities that Nam Gyu-ri is affiliated with a certain religious group. We’d like to inform you that she is not linked to that religion,” her agency said.
Several agencies of actors also released similar statements denying their artists’ connection to the cult.
K-pop star Chungha, who has been in self quarantine after returning from Milan Fashion Week, Feb. 24, said “I think there’s a misconception that I’m a Shincheonji member. My staff and I don’t have any connection or affiliation with it.”
Two of her staff were confirmed to have been infected by the virus after the trip to Italy, but the singer and all other staff members tested negative.
Source: The Korea Times