For the first time since the Catholic Church in South Korea was founded 236 years ago, all celebrations of Mass have been suspended across the country’s 16 dioceses that encompass 1,747 churches and chapels.
The cancelling of Mass comes amidst the country’s battle with the world’s second worst coronavirus outbreak, totaling over 4000 confirmed cases and 26 deaths. The nation-wide decision followed the decision by dioceses in Daegu, the city hardest-hit by coronavirus, to suspend Mass a week prior.
For South Korea’s nearly six million Catholics, they wont be able to attend Mass or other organized parish activities, meetings, and events until at least March 7th.
Protestant and Presbyterian churches have also followed suit, scaling back their Sunday gatherings and closing their facilities.
South Korea is the third country to follow suit with mass Mass cancellations, after a drastic outbreak in Northern Italy of coronavirus with nearly 1,700 confirmed cases and 26 deaths, along with dispensations from attending Mass in Hong Kong.