Grace Road Church founder gets six years in jail

July 31, 2019 8:06 am

Grace Road Church Founder – Shin Ok-ju has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for detaining some 400 followers in Fiji.

According to the South China Morning Post, the doomsday cult leader subjected her followers to violence and barbaric rituals.

The report goes on to say that Pastor Shin Ok-ju convinced her followers to move to Fiji in 2014, claiming they would be safe there from imminent natural disasters.

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Once they arrived however, their passports were confiscated and many of them were allegedly subjected to beatings aimed at driving out evil spirits.

Some followers who escaped the Fiji headquarters in Navua told journalists in Korea that those who attempted to leave the church were subjected to severe public beatings known as ‘ground thrashing’.

Screenshot from a JTBC documentary.

Ok -Ju was arrested in July last year and subsequently put on trial with five other senior church officials.

In a statement from the Suwon District Court that prosecuted Shin, the court noted that the Pastor has absolute authority over the followers and all criminal acts including ground trashing were unable to be carried out without her directions.

While there was no immediate comment from the church following the judgment, some followers in Seoul who attended the trial protested angrily after the jail sentence was handed down, one woman saying it was outrageous and calling on the victims to stop lying.

Meanwhile, Grace Road has built a business group in Fiji, opening a chain of restaurants across the country as well as a number of retail ventures.

Grace Road’s construction company has also secured a number of key government projects including the extension of the President’s residence and building a new Prime Minister’s office.