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Crackdown on cult intensifies after killing at McDonald's

2014-06-04 08:35 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Wang Fan

The crackdown and investigation concerning the cult called the Church of the Almighty God will mainly be conducted in Shandong province and there is no plan to extend it to a nationwide operation, the Ministry of Public Security said Tuesday.

The comments come after the arrest of five people of the cult who are suspected of beating a woman surnamed Wu to death at a McDonald's restaurant in Zhaoyuan, Shandong, on May 28.

The ministry also said Chinese police will "severely attack" religious cults and punish those who participate in such movements.

The ministry added that some religious cults recruit and control members by fabricating rumors and spreading superstitions, to harm people and "collect large amounts of money."

It also added that it is still possible for religious cults to thrive, and there are thousands of such cults around the world.

Zhaoyuan police said the suspects - including four members of one family - allegedly attacked the woman after she refused to give her phone number to them, as they were collecting contact information in an effort to recruit new members.

Religious materials and other incriminating evidence were found in their home and they have been charged with intentional homicide.

According to the ministry, the Almighty God cult started in Central China's Henan province in the 1990s and later spread to other regions in the country.

Zhao Weishan, the founder of the group, fled to the United States in 2000, and the Almighty God was listed as a cult by China's State Administration of Religious Affairs.

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