Grace Road - friend or foe?

Grace Road - friend or foe?

By fijivillage
Tuesday 19/11/2019

The son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo has refuted the charges of Assault, Incarceration, Child Abuse, and Fraud which his mother Reverend Okjoo Shin and the Church have been accused of by people they are calling traitors.


Grace Road Church says they have violated neither the law of God nor this world's law

By Semi Turaga
Sunday 26/04/2020
Son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo

The son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo has refuted the charges of Assault, Incarceration, Child Abuse, and Fraud which his mother Reverend Okjoo Shin and the Church have been accused of by people they are calling traitors.

Sungdo says their church has violated neither the law of God nor this world's law.

The founder, Reverend Shin is serving a sentence of six years in prison for detaining her followers in Fiji and subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.

She has been serving for more than 1 year and 8 months.

The Suwon District Court, in South Korea, jailed her for keeping some 400 followers in captivity in Fiji, with their passports reportedly taken away by senior church leaders.

The court also said the followers spend their days performing forced labour and attending evening sermons.

In a more than 17 minutes video on its social media page, Sungdo addressed the issue directly saying “But to the self-proclaimed Christians, pastors, missionaries and the General Assembly who accused our Reverend and Grace Road Church of being a cult, to the people who were among us who discovered the truth and forsook the truth through their false testimonies, and the investigator (the son of a self-proclaimed missionary) who allied with the traitors with his devious plots, and to the press who turned a blind eye to the truth and branded our Reverend and our Church with intentionally maligned and devious editing: You have sued Grace Road Church, the group of true Christians who see, hear, believe and act by the Bible”

Grace Road Church has also been long accused of severe public beatings known as “ground threshing”.

Sungdo says what is so wrong about them carrying out threshing on the floor as written in the bible by understanding the word of truth.

He says they made a resolution to themselves and they slapped themselves adding how is this assault.

Sungdo says they are confident to confess and testify that all churches must carry out the biblical threshing floor and show an example that people are able to live by the law of God without requiring the world's law.

The Grace Road Church has also started a petition for a retrial of their leader's case in South Korea.

In a statement, the Church said "Grace Road Church's Reverend Okjoo Shin was sued by plaintiffs composed of people who claim to be victims on grounds of "bodily harm, special assault, assault, aggravated confinement, special confinement, fraud, violation of commercial law, violation of child welfare laws (neglect, abuse) and abetment of assault, sentenced to 6 years in 1st trial, 7 years in 2nd trial, and our appeal was dismissed at the Supreme Court"

Reverend Shin has been held in a detention centre from 24th July 2018 until now.




Grace Road Church claims in paid advertisement the reason for COVID-19 outbreak is the imprisonment and slandering of its leader

By Vijay Narayan, Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
The paid advertisement from The Grace Roads Chrurch that appeared in The Fiji Sun.

The Grace Road Church is claiming in a paid advertisement in the Fiji Sun that the reason for the COVID-19 outbreak is the unjust persecution, imprisonment and slandering of its leader Reverend Okjoo Shin as a cult.

It made this claim in the paid advertisement titled "The Judge of God - Judgement Has Now Begun".

Under the sub-heading - "COVID-19 : What is the reason?" Grace Road Church said, "We believe the reason for COVID-19 outbreak is because of Spirit of Truth was slandered as a cult, persecuted and imprisoned".

The leader of Grace Road Church Reverend Shin is mentioned in the advertisement as "The Spirit of Truth Reverend Okjoo Shin".

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-SM1
Shin Ok-Ju

The advertisement further says "Furthermore, some Christian leaders of the world, who use the Bible, transgressed against God.

Many plagues have emerged since creation, but this prevailing COVID-19 is completely different.

COVID-19 is God's Warning to turn from lawlessness and unrighteousness, God's sign to show the end of the time for the wicked with their works and God's Sword to judge this wicked world!"

The same advertisement has also been shared by Grace Road Church on its Facebook page.

Grace-Road-Church-covid-19-post-sm

The World Health Organization, the Health Ministry and health experts have stated coronaviruses are a large group of viruses, with six of these viruses known to cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to the more serious Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The Health Ministry and WHO have stated that COVID-19 was discovered in late December 2019 after an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases was noted in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China.

On December 31st last year, China alerted the WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.

The virus was unknown.

Several of those infected worked at the city's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1.

As health experts worked to identify the virus amid growing alarm, the number of infections exceeded 40.

On January 11th, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market.

Treatment did not improve his symptoms after he was admitted to hospital and he died of heart failure on the evening of January 9.

We are currently trying to speak to the Grace Road Church, Media Industry Development Authority and Fiji Sun on the publishing of the advertisement.

We are also asking MIDA if this conforms to the Code of Ethics for Advertising in the Media Act.



Kepa reveals the rice planting contract signed between Rewa and Grace Road was mutually terminated this year (Tuesday 19/11/2019)

By: Vijay Narayan

SODELPA MP, Ro Teimumu Kepa who is also the Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi has revealed in parliament that the 5-year rice planting contract signed between Rewa and Grace Road was mutually terminated earlier this year.

Ro Teimumu stresses that Rewa has nothing more to do with Grace Road.

She says she agrees with sentiments expressed from the opposition side on the Grace Road issue.

The Fijian Government has said in a statement that it could not respond directly to an edited video clip within the Al-Jazeera documentary on Grace Road which was played in the Korean language.

The government says certain matters in relation to Grace Road Church are currently being handled by the Ministry of Employment and Police, and we must allow due process to take its course without the interference of government comment.

There were allegations made in the documentary that some Grace Road Church leaders were assaulting some of its members, people being forced to work long hours while a Fijian man also claimed that he was injured while working for Grace Road and when he returned to work he was fired as the pain was unbearable.

There were also English translations of Grace Road Church Leader, Shin Ok-ju saying in an earlier sermon in the Korean language which said that even though Fijians are their servants according to their bible, Fijians are not very smart.

She also said that they plan to get into politics, and will conquer, govern and rule.

Grace Road has released a statement to say that they never termed Fijians as their servants and the sermon video in the documentary was altered.

They say in the statement that everyone is a servant of God. Grace Road has also uploaded the original video and edited video.

The government says they can point to adherence to electoral law to clarify that only Fijian citizens and no other national can be elected to Parliament, so any notion otherwise is unfounded and irresponsible fear-mongering at its worst.

The government further adds again in adherence to the law, it is vital that Government separate religion from business adding they cannot uproot private businesses owned by members of any faith-based organization on their words, actions or teachings; to do so would be a gross violation of the Fijian Constitution.

It further says Fiji has adhered to international law as the government cooperated with South Korean counterparts in past investigations, and will continue to do so moving forward to investigate any allegations of breaches of the law.

They say any allegations of breaches of Fijian laws and workplace rules and regulations will be met with appropriate action to protect the well-being of the Fijian people and those residing in Fiji.

Meanwhile, the founder of Grace Road Shin Ok-ju who the BBC described as the leader of the South Korean doomsday cult, has been sentenced to six years in jail for holding her followers captive in Fiji and subjecting them to violence.

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-SM3

Following her sentencing, it was reported that Shin Ok-ju, who founded the Grace Road Church, convinced 400 people to move to Fiji in 2014, claiming they would be safe from imminent natural disaster.

Once here, their passports were taken away and many of them reported being beaten to "drive out evil spirits".

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-slapping-SM
A screenshot taken from an SBS documentary shows Ms. Shin slapping one of her congregants [Photo:BBC]

Shin was arrested last July.

In July this year, a South Korean court found Shin guilty on several criminal charges including violence, child abuse and fraud.

A sub-court of the Suwon District Court said the victims suffered helplessly from collective beatings and experienced not only physical torture but also severe fear and considerable mental shock.

The court said that heavy punishment is inevitable against illegal acts carried out in the name of religion.

Five other church officials were also sentenced.

 

We cannot respond directly to a edited video on Grace Road which was played in the Korean language - Government (Tuesday 19/11/2019)

By: Vijay Narayan and Naveel Krishant

The government says that the Fiji Times front-page article “Fall from Grace” yesterday misreported a statement released by the Fijian Government in response to a recent Al Jazeera report on the Grace Road Church in Fiji.

It says the article ran that “In a statement on Saturday night, government said they could not comment on the documentary as it was unclear if the video had been altered or doctored.”

The government says this line is false.

It says government’s statement rightfully cited a need for strict adherence to the law, and respect for due process in ongoing investigations, as the reason it could not comment on the documentary.

The Fijian Government says the statement made clear that it could not respond directly to an edited video clip within the documentary which was played in the Korean language.

It says this is standard practice and even the Leader of the Opposition, in the very same day’s newspaper, cited that authentication would be required for comment.

The government says for the Fiji Times to spread this type of misinformation is either sloppy reporting or deliberate misinterpretation of the facts to confuse and scare the public.

The government says certain matters in relation to Grace Road Church are currently being handled by the Ministry of Employment and Police, and we must allow due process to take its course without the interference of government comment.

The government says certain matters in relation to Grace Road Church are currently being handled by the Ministry of Employment and Police, and we must allow due process to take its course without the interference of government comment.

There were allegations made in the documentary that some Grace Road Church leaders were assaulting some of its members, people being forced to work long hours while a Fijian man also claimed that he was injured while working for Grace Road and when he returned to work he was fired as the pain was unbearable. There were also translations of Grace Road Church Leader, Shin Ok-ju saying in an earlier sermon in the Korean language which said that even though Fijians are their servants according to their bible, Fijians are not very smart. She also said that they plan to get into politics, and will conquer, govern and rule.

Grace Road has released a statement to say that they never termed Fijians as their servants and the documentary was altered.

The government says they can point to adherence to electoral law to clarify that only Fijian citizens and no other national can be elected to Parliament, so any notion otherwise is unfounded and irresponsible fear-mongering at its worst.

The government further adds again in adherence to the law, it is vital that Government separate religion from business adding they cannot uproot private businesses owned by members of any faith based organization on their words, actions or teachings; to do so would be a gross violation of the Fijian Constitution.

It further says Fiji has adhered to international law as we cooperated with South Korean counterparts in past investigations, and will continue to do so moving forward to investigate any allegations of breaches of the law.

They say any allegations of breaches of Fijian laws and workplace rules and regulations will be met with appropriate action to protect the well-being of the Fijian people and those residing in Fiji.

Meanwhile, the founder of Grace Road Shin Ok-ju was sentenced to six years in prison by the South Korean Court earlier this year.

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-SM

Shin Ok-ju 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 supposedly aimed at driving out evil spirits.

She was arrested last July.

Tabuya alleges that the only 'ROAD' the government is heavily protecting and invested in is Grace Road (Monday 18/11/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

Opposition Whip, Lynda Tabuya has alleged in parliament that the only “ROAD” that the government is heavily protecting and invested in is Grace Road.

While responding to the President's speech in the opening session, Tabuya says she intends to bring a petition of the people regarding Grace Road during the February sitting.

Tabuya says she will call for a Parliamentary Inquiry to fully investigate and suspend all operations until the investigations are finalised.

 

Matters related to Grace Road Church currently being handled by Ministry of Employment and Police - Fijian Government (Sunday 17/11/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The Fijian Government says certain matters in relation to Grace Road Church are currently being handled by the Ministry of Employment and Police, and they must allow due process to take its course without the interference of Government comment.

This is in relation to a reporter with Al Jazeera who recently noted that no one from the Fijian Government was available to comment on a recent documentary that outlines ongoing allegations about businesses affiliated with Grace Road Church.

In a statement, the government says Al Jazeera should know that Fiji operates within the realm of the law and this remains the case.

The statement says the government also cannot comment on the documentary’s newly-revealed video showing remarks of the church’s former leader, Shin Ok-ju as it is presently unclear if it has been altered or doctored in some way.

They also say they can point to adherence to electoral law to clarify that only Fijian citizens and no other national can be elected to Parliament, so any notion otherwise is unfounded and irresponsible fear-mongering at its worst.

The government further adds again in adherence to the law, it is vital that Government separate religion from business adding they cannot uproot private businesses owned by members of any faith-based organization on their words, actions or teachings; to do so would be a gross violation of the Fijian Constitution.

It further says Fiji has adhered to international law as Fiji cooperated with South Korean counterparts in past investigations, and will continue to do so moving forward to investigate any allegations of breaches of the law.

They say any allegations of breaches of Fijian laws and workplace rules and regulations will be met with appropriate action to protect the well-being of the Fijian people and those residing in Fiji.

Meanwhile, the founder of Grace Road Shin Ok-ju was sentenced to six years in prison by the South Korean Court earlier this year.

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-SM1

Shin Ok-ju 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 supposedly aimed at driving out evil spirits.

Shin was arrested last July.



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