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South Korean pastor accused of calling women followers 'prostitutes'

The Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, former chief of the Christian Council of Korea, is accused with making sexist remarks during sermons. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
The Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, former chief of the Christian Council of Korea, is accused with making sexist remarks during sermons. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

March 1 (UPI) -- A South Korean church leader who tested positive for COVID-19 last year is coming under fire for allegedly describing the women in his congregation and in the Bible as "prostitutes."

The women's committee of the National Council of Churches in Korea said Monday that the Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, pastor of Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, had said all the women in Jesus's family tree were sex workers. The councilsaid it condemns the statement, Hankyoreh reported.

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According to the group, Jun said the Virgin Mary was "unmarried" and all the other women in Jesus' genealogy were prostitutes.

Jun also said women in his congregation are like sex workers because they had "already spent the night with Satan."

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"Jun Kwang-hoon has distorted the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the church community, through misleading interpretations of the Bible," the group said. "Jun continues to pour out embarrassing words and false remarks."

Last year, Jun was briefly jailed after being denied bail. Jun was charged with violating social distancing guidelines after his church became the source of South Korea's second-largest coronavirus outbreak.

Jun's misogynistic remarks also may have addressed the issue of "comfort women" forced to serve in Japanese wartime brothels. Jun reportedly said during his sermon brothels are "inevitable" during war.

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The council of churches has called on Jun to apologize to former comfort women and to cease all religious activities.

The South Korean cleric previously accused President Moon Jae-in of lying to the public, and he called Moon a "communist" without evidence.

On Monday, Jun again denounced Moon as a "lunatic" while followers demanded the president's resignation during an outdoor gathering without facemasks, Oh My News reported.

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Speaking at the same rally, Cho Na-dan, a pastor and a colleague of Jun, condemned North Korea's Kim Jong Un and called him a "young fat pig."

"Let's boil the pig and eat him with shrimp!" Cho said, according to Oh My News.

Jun and Cho have publicly protested the Moon administration. Jun has been charged previously with violation of local election laws and using bribes to recruit followers.

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