China / Society

Nine cult members imprisoned in central China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-26 15:28

WUHAN - Nine members of the "Almighty God" cult have been jailed for between 18 months and three years in Hubei as China cracks down on the banned organization, local authorities said Sunday.

The nine cult members were convicted of "undermining the implementation of laws by making use of cult organizations", according to the people's procuratorate of Zigui County in central China's Hubei Province.

Police found 422 books, 1,047 leaflets, 283 video discs and 12 memory cards with more than 101,000 files in video, photo and text promoting the cult in their possession as of July 2014.

They also recruited and brainwashed believers, according to the procuratorate.

On Saturday, a court in northeast China's Liaoning Province said five members of the "Almighty God" have been sentenced to two or three years in prison for spreading cult propaganda.

"Almighty God", known in Chinese as Quannengshen, grabbed national headlines last year with videos going viral showing five of its members beating a woman to death at a McDonald's in the eastern city of Zhaoyuan, condemning her as an "evil spirit" as she refused to give them her cellphone number for recruitment purposes.

First appearing in the 1990s in central China's Henan Province, Quannengshen claims that Jesus has been resurrected as Yang Xiangbin, wife of the cult's founder, Zhao Weishan, also known as Xu Wenshan. The couple fled to the United States in September 2000.

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