8 more cult members detained over doomsday rumors
Updated: 2012-12-18 00:14
NANJING - Police in east China's Jiangsu Province said they have detained eight more members of a cult for spreading rumors of an impending apocalypse, bringing the total to 101 nationwide.
The people, all belonging to the "Almighty God" cult, spread doomsday rumors door-to-door or at public venues and claimed that only the cult could save people's lives, according to police.
Police said they were detained for spreading rumors and disturbing social order in the name of religion.
China recently launched a nationwide crackdown on the cult, and more than 100 members have been detained.
In the largest case, 37 members of the cult in northwest China's Qinghai Province were detained.
These cult members recently latched on to the Mayan doomsday prophecy to predict that the sun will not shine and electricity will not work for three days beginning on December 21, according to the public security bureau of Xining, the provincial capital.
A large number of banners, discs, slogans, books and printing machines have been seized by police.
Thirty-four people in Fujian, four in Inner Mongolia, four in Chongqing, two in Sichuan, seven in Shaanxi and five in Hubei were also recently detained for handing out leaflets about the apocalypse and spreading rumors, according to respective local public security departments.
The "Almighty God" cult was established in 1990 in central China's Henan Province. It requires its members to surrender their property to the group.