Sarang First Church in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, which violated the quarantine authorities' order to prohibit face-to-face religious gatherings several times, held another face-to-face worship service today (8th).

This face-to-face worship service is the fourth after the implementation of 'Social Distancing Step 4' in the metropolitan area.

Sarang Jeil Church has been conducting this worship service face-to-face from 11 am today.

Members of the church entered the church at 8:30 a.m. after taking temperature measurements, making a list, and disinfecting their bodies.

Sarang First Church held a face-to-face worship service on the 1st as well, and received an order to suspend the second operation (August 6-25) and a fine of 3 million won from the ward office.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seongbuk-gu were scheduled to check the church's compliance with the order to suspend operations today and confirm the suspicion of violating the Infectious Disease Prevention Act at the site of the face-to-face worship service, but it was blocked by strong deterrence from the church.

About 10 city and ward offices and police officials tried to enter the church twice at 10:35 am and 11 am.

An official from Seongbuk-gu said, "I came to check whether the second order to suspend operations is complied with, so please cooperate with the execution of official duties."

Kang Kang-jae, a lawyer at the church, raised his voice saying, "If you want to conduct a compulsory investigation, bring a warrant. Forcing it without a legal basis and official notice is not a legitimate execution of official duties."

A church official said, "We are following the quarantine rules well, so don't worry and go back."

An official from the district said, "Currently, Sarang Jeil Church is not allowed to hold a face-to-face worship service.

Sarang Jeil Church has been conducting face-to-face worship every 4th Sunday since the 18th of last month, when face-to-face worship was prohibited due to the 4th level of distancing. However, on the 25th of last month, we had a face-to-face worship service.

Seongbuk-gu is in the process of closing Sarang First Church facilities in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act.

(Photo = Yonhap News)