Over 4,000 members of the church have recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate plasma for research in developing a treatment amid plasma shortage.
According to the current rate of exchange in the United States, the amount of blood will be worth approximately $83 billion if each of the 4,000 members donate 500ml. “It is difficult to accelerate developing a medicine for COVID-19 with only 200 recovered patients who expressed their willingness to donate blood. The massive donation from the recovered patients in the Shincheonji Church will resolve the issue of the lack of blood for research,” stated an official from Green Cross Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in South Korea.
For the first quarter of the year, the virus hit the church members in Daegu, South Korea. The crisis sparked more controversy than the wave of visitors from China prior to the outbreak.
Mr. Man Hee Lee, founder of the Shincheonji Church, said that members of the church are advised to donate plasma voluntarily. “As Jesus sacrificed himself with his blood for life, we hope that the blood of people can bring positive effects to achieve a world of peace for future generations,” said Mr. Lee.
“We had a discussion with the health authorities and tried to establish a plan outlining details for donation. Some of the recovered members have already donated individually, feeling thankful for the assistance they received from the government and medical teams. They expressed their will to make a contribution to society,” added an official in the church.
Local governments in South Korea recently brought lawsuits against the church with allegations the church did not cooperate with the authorities by not submitting the full list of church facilities and members. Even allegations of homicide have been made due to the spread of the virus and causing harm to society, but rather than retaliate with counter-lawsuits, donations of plasma are being made advance and contribute to a noble cause of saving lives.
“No evidence has been found that Shincheonji supplied missing or altered lists. And there were only minor differences,” said Kang-lip Kim, Vice-minister of Health. Academic research on Shincheonji and COVID-19 stated that the church “provided the list of its South Korean members six days after it was requested” and “it was initially unclear whether shut down facilities and properties should be included” when the government asked for the lists of real estate.
A Shincheonji media coordinator stated the church will cooperate fully with investigations from government agencies.