6 Aug 2018

South Korean church denies enslaving followers in Fiji

1:17 pm on 6 August 2018
Shin Ok-joo

Shin Ok-ju was arrested in Seoul last month. Photo: Facebook

A South Korean religious group accused of enslaving as many as 400 people in Fiji has rejected accusations against its founder.

The leader of the Grace Road Church, Shin Ok-ju, was arrested in Seoul last month and charged with slavery and foreign exchange violation.

In a statement, the church said it is a victim of slander, and that stories of passport confiscation and violence are lies.

It said Ms Shin was being targetted by aggrieved ex-members, adding that "God shall let the truth be known soon."

The Grace Road Church has extensive business networks in Fiji, many of which have been endorsed by government ministers.

The church believes Fiji is the 'promised land' and will be the only place to escape a coming armageddon.

But last week, South Korean authorities said the church had seized the passports of as many as 400 followers when they arrived in Fiji, and they had not been allowed to leave.