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The Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed that the license of Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation, be revoked over its role in spreading the Covid-19 virus.
Vu Chien Thang, deputy head of the home affairs ministry, said that the Revival Ekklesia Mission, associated with a major Covid-19 outbreak in the southern metropolis, is a group and not a religious mission, state broadcaster Vietnam Television reported Tuesday.
The group registered itself to operate locally and has not been deemed a religious organization, he added.
While the group leaders calls themselves pastors, this is inaccurate as only religions recognized by the government can hold the title of “pastor,” Thang said.
The Revival Ekklesia Mission, a self-described Christian congregation, has been implicated in a series of coronavirus infections throughout HCMC.
According to the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC), the congregation carried a very high risk of infection because its members gathered in a small, poorly ventilated space and did not wear face masks. The congregation’s founders, a husband and wife, are both infected.
Over 200 Covid-19 cases in the city and several provinces have been associated with the group over the past week, prompting authorities to implement a two-week socially distancing period on the metropolis with 13 million people beginning Monday. Nearly 200,000 residents have been associated with the cluster, according to the HCDC.
The group has been placed under criminal investigation for spreading Covid-19 in the community, Go Vap District police announced Sunday.
So far, HCMC has confirmed 227 local Covid-19 cases in Vietnam’s latest coronavirus wave that started late April.
This article was originally published in VNExpress
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