NEWS

Business As Usual For Grace Road Group As Leader Is Jailed In South Korea

The GR Group said last night: “We have taken immediate steps to appeal this lower district court’s decision to have the Higher Court properly and carefully review the facts and to reverse the lower court’s decision,” it said.
01 Aug 2019 15:43
Business As Usual For Grace Road Group As Leader Is Jailed In South Korea
Grace Road Group founder Shin Ok-ju.

Grace Road Group in Fiji says it’s business as usual despite the jailing of Church founder, Shin Ok-ju in South Korea.

She was jailed for six years by the court for torturing of followers in Fiji.

The GR Group said last night: “We have taken immediate steps to appeal this lower district court’s decision to have the Higher Court properly and carefully review the facts and to reverse the lower court’s decision,” it said.

“All valued Grace Road customers and business connections in Fiji are assured that we continue business as usual and the District Court’s decision, which is under appeal to the High Court, does not have any impact nor adverse effect on the GR Group’s activities in Fiji.”

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Shin Ok-ju was sentenced to six years in prison for detaining her followers in Fiji and subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.

The newspaper labelled her as a South Korean doomsday cult leader who convinced her followers to move to Fiji in 2014, claiming they would be safe here from imminent natural disasters.

Once they arrived, their passports were confiscated and many of them were allegedly subjected to beatings and brutal rituals purportedly aimed at driving out evil spirits, it reported.

It said a statement from the Anyang sub-court of the Suwon District Court said, “The accused has absolute authority over the followers and all criminal acts including ground thrashing were unable to be carried out without her directions. Her responsibility is very heavy.”

Five other church officials were also meted punishment ranging from a suspended sentence to 42 months in prison.

It was reported that some followers in Seoul who attended the trial protested angrily after the jail sentence was handed down.

The SCMP reported that some 400 followers were in effect kept in captivity in Fiji with their passports reportedly taken away by senior church leaders.

It said that according to the court, the followers spend their days performing forced labour and attending evening sermons.

SCMP said a former follower told a South Korean TV programme that “a son beat his father 100 to 200 times at a ground thrashing session”.

It said JTBC footages showed Shin slapping hard a female follower’s face, shouting abusive words and grabbing her by the hair.

Some Grace Road Group workers the Fiji Sun approached at a work site yesterday were aware about Shin being jailed in South Korea.

A worker said everything was good and not like what some followers stated in South Korea.

“There is nothing. It’s all lies. We all ate together and I don’t know why they go back and say like that,” he said.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedbackavinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

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