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Church leader apologizes for erroneous coronavirus responses

All News 17:42 November 03, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Yonhap) -- The leader of the Presbyterian Church of Korea apologized Tuesday for what he called churches' erroneous responses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pastor So Gang-suk said in a news conference that Korean churches failed to exert leadership and fulfill their responsibility amid the spread of the infectious disease.

"In the face of the spread of COVID-19, the church should have respected the lives of our neighbors as much as it respects worship," So said.

"But people turned their back on the church as it prioritized freedom of faith and stuck to in-person worship."

So, senior pastor of the Sae Eden Church in Yongin, south of Seoul, took the helm of the nation's largest Protestant denomination in September.

"Some churches even raised the eyebrows of the public as they became the epicenters of coronavirus infection," he lamented.

He called on the church to enhance efforts to communicate with the people, present correct directions for society and better protect vulnerable neighbors.

Pastor So Gang-suk, leader of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, speaks during a a news conference in Seoul on Nov. 3, 2020. (Yonhap)

The pastor also promised the group will play an active role in resuming exchanges with North Korea.

He said the Unification Ministry and Christian leaders will hold a meeting Friday on medical cooperation between South and North Korea.

The Presbyterian Church is participating in discussion on measures to aid North Korea, including delivering medical supplies that are not subject to U.N. sanctions, he added.

Lee Seung-hui, his predecessor, also said the Presbyterian Church is already working with Pyongyang's forest authorities in a forestation project in the North.
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