‘Bad dreams’ still haunt Park
22 September, 2018, 12:10 pm
“I STILL have some bad dreams to this day.”
These were the words of former Grace Roads Church follower Park Chanmoon.
Mr Park visited The Fiji Times office in Suva this week to share his story after leaving the church last year.
The 70-year-old joined the church in 2009 before his wife and two daughters also joined.
In 2015, he decided to come to Fiji after hearing that the Grace Roads Church leader and founder, the Rev Shin Ok Joo — or Pastor Shin as he referred to her — was a great speaker.
“Pastor Shin always said Fiji was the paradise promised in the Bible, it’s invisible but only she can read it,” he said.
Mr Park said when he got to Fiji he worked as an agriculture worker at the Grace Road Group’s farm in Navua, working on a 12-to-14-hour shift daily.
“It was totally different. We ate, slept, worked six days a week,” he claimed.
“I moved to Nausori later and my wife worked in Navua.
“My family and I were separated and we never saw each other.”
Mr Park said when he came to Fiji, he thought he would live forever, but he later thought that he had come here to die.
He claimed during the course of his stay in Fiji, he was punished several times through violence on the church’s “thrashing floor”.
He said one of his daughters was interviewed in South Korea and said that her parents were not paid while working in Fiji.
Mr Park claimed that after refusing to give an interview to correct what his daughter said, he was punished and was told to go back home to South Korea.
He left the country with his wife in August last year, while his daughters returned three months later.
“Everything (in the Grace Road Group) is not true, it is a lie,” he claimed.
“I developed a trauma after I went back home to Korea and some days I have some very bad dreams.
“I still go to church now, but to a different Christian church.”
In response GR Group administration staffer Heera Chae said all followers of the church were shareholders of the group.
She denied Mr Park’s allegations, saying they were all false.
“We are not followers of our pastor as a person, but we are followers of Christianity,” she said.
“We believe that she is one of the Christians and we are all Christians and we listen to the word of God that is conveyed by our pastor.
“We have to start from what the actual thrashing floor is. It’s not a group of people beating up one person.
“You have to read the Bible to understand it and as a member of our group. It’s really hard to explain it in words,” Ms Chae added.