The Fiji Police Force has now started preliminary investigations into the allegations levelled against the Grace Road Church and Group after the arrest of their founder in South Korea.
When questioned by Fijivillage in the last hour, Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho confirmed that they have been contacted by South Korean authorities and the Fijian Police have started preliminary investigations while they await official notification.
Grace Road Group Fiji are yet to comment on the continuing allegations levelled against the Grace Road founder as many news outlets overseas also continue with headlines like “South Korea cult leader arrested over violent rituals in Fiji.”
Fijivillage is trying to get clarification on whether authorities here are looking into these serious allegations which are now being reported widely around the world.
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho
The AFP is reporting that the leader of a South Korean doomsday cult has been arrested for allegedly holding some 400 followers captive in Fiji by subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.
Shin Ok‑ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, and three other cult leaders were arrested when they arrived at Seoul's International Airport last week.
A South Korean police official has told the AFP that Pastor Shin and three others face charges of using violence in forcing followers to stay in Fiji.
They report that Shin, a doomsday prophet, convinced her followers to move to Fiji in 2014, claiming they would be safe there from imminent natural disasters.
The report alleges that once they arrived, their passports were confiscated and many were allegedly subjected to beatings and brutal rituals purportedly aimed at driving out evil spirits.
The reports also say that some followers who escaped the farm told journalists that those who attempted to leave the church were subjected to severe public beatings known as "ground thrashings".
A former follower told a South Korean TV programme that a son beat his father 100 to 200 times at a ground thrashing session.
The report further claims that another follower was hit more than 600 times and he died after returning home.
Shin Ok‑ju, founder of the Grace Road Church
It is reported that Christian‑inspired cults have been mushrooming in South Korea where around half the population are Protestants or Catholics.
Prosecutors have told the AFP that a cult leader who claimed to be the Messiah was arrested in May in Seoul for raping at least seven female followers.
We have sent questions to Grace Road Group Fiji.
Fijivillage is awaiting their response.
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