China doomsday 'cult' arrests top 800

2012-12-20 09:21

(http://www.shutterstock.com)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China has arrested more than 800 people in a crackdown on a Christian sect which spread doomsday rumours and challenged the ruling Communist party, local media said on Thursday.

The Christian-inspired group "Almighty God" has been accused of spreading doomsday rumours apparently linked to the ancient Mayan calendar and urging followers to slay the "red dragon" of communism, state media reports said.

More than 800 followers of the sect, which state-run media labels an "evil cult" - the same description it applies to the banned Falun Gong group - have been held in a nationwide crackdown that began last week, the Beijing Times reported.

Police detained more than 350 Almighty God members in the south-western province of Guizhou, while in the north-western province of Qinghai more than 400 were held for "gathering unlawfully", the report said. Smaller numbers have been held in other areas across the country.

Almighty God predicts that three days of darkness will begin on Friday, and has called on its members to overthrow China's ruling Communist Party, which it refers to as "the big red dragon", the state-run Global Times reported.

It has also told believers that a new era presided over by a "female Jesus" has arrived and that tsunamis and earthquakes will rock the world, the Global Times said.

The apocalypse predictions have received widespread coverage in China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood disaster film "2012", which was inspired by the supposed Mayan prophecy.

Religious groups

Chinese state-run media have condemned the group in lurid detail, with the China Youth Daily reporting that Almighty God "even uses 'sex communication', calling on female members to use their sex appeal to seduce single men".

The sect was founded in the early 1990s, but has remained secretive in the face of government intolerance of non-official religious groups.

Group members use pseudonyms such as "Little White Rabbit" or "Doggy" to conceal their identities, and are often not allowed to carry mobile phones or other communication devices, China Business View magazine reported.

China's Communist Party does not tolerate challenges to its authority and has brutally cracked down on religious groups that refuse to toe the party line, including the Buddhist-inspired Falun Gong, which was banned in the late 1990s.

The country has a long history of religiously-inspired anti-government movements, most notably the nineteenth century "Taiping Heavenly Kingdom", led by a Christian convert who gathered millions of followers in an attempt to overthrow the emperor.

- SAPA
Read more on:    china  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.