Source: Sup China (7/28/17)
Eastern Lightning cult back in the news
By Jeremy Goldkorn
On May 28, 2014, five people attacked and killed a woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in a small city in Shandong Province. A bystander filmed the murder on a mobile phone and the footage spread rapidly on the internet.
- The killers turned out to be members of the Church of Almighty God (全能神 quánnéng shén), also known as Eastern Lightning (东方闪电 dōngfāng shǎndiàn). The organisation is a doomsday cult founded in 1990 by a physics teacher named Zhao Weishan 赵维山 who claimed to have found the female Christ in the form of young woman from northwestern Shaanxi province.
- The Chinese government banned the church as a cult in 1995; Zhao and his female Chinese Jesus are apparently in exile in the U.S.
- During the trial of the five McDonald’s murderers, one of the accused said that his group had wanted to convert the victim but they killed her after she refused to tell them her phone number.
Eastern Lightning are in the news again: Chinanews.com reports (in Chinese) on the detention of 18 members of the group in eastern Zhejiang Province, the shutdown of two of their “lairs” (窝点 wōdiǎn), and confiscation of computers and propaganda pamphlets. Sixth Tone has a good summary of the news in English. The cult’s own website is here.