Over 500 members of doomsday cult held in China

Over 500 members of doomsday cult held in China

Over 500 people believed to be members of "Almighty God" cult, a Christian group, were held in China for spreading doomsday rumours warning people that world will come to an end on December 21.

Reports in the official media said over 500 held in different parts of the country. Police in east China's Jiangsu Province detained eight more members of a cult for spreading rumours of an impending apocalypse, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The arrested, all belonging to the "Almighty God" cult, spread doomsday rumours 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 rumours and disturbing social order in the name of religion.

China recently launched a nationwide crackdown on the cult by detaining people, Xinhua reported. 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, police said.

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 rumours, 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.

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