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Five cult members stand trial on murder charges in east China

English.news.cn   2014-08-21 09:13:19

Five cult members Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong, Lyu Yingchun, Zhang Hang and Zhang Qiaolian stand trial on murder charges in Yantai Intermediate People's Court in Yantai City, east China's Shandong Province, Aug. 21, 2014. A woman surnamed Wu was beaten to death on May 28 at a McDonald's outlet in Zhaoyuan City, Yantai, after she refused to give her telephone number to the suspects, who were allegedly trying to recruit new members for their cult Quannengshen, which means "almighty god." (Xinhua)

JINAN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Five cult members stand trial Thursday morning on murder charges in Yantai Intermediate People's Court in east China's Shandong Province.

Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong, Lyu Yingchun, Zhang Hang and Zhang Qiaolian were indicted for murder, while Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong and Lyu Yingchun were also charged with breaching law enforcement by cult activities.

Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong and Lyu Yingchun should be handed down combined punishments for several offenses, according to the indictment.

A woman surnamed Wu was beaten to death on May 28 at a McDonald's outlet in Zhaoyuan City, Shandong, after she refused to give her telephone number to the suspects, who were allegedly trying to recruit new members for their cult Quannengshen, which means "almighty god."

First coming to light in the 1990s in central China's Henan Province, Quannengshen claimed that Jesus had been resurrected as Yang Xiangbin, wife of the sect's founder Zhao Weishan, also known as Xu Wenshan. The couple fled to the U.S. in September 2000.

The sect has been widely criticized for using rumors to confuse people and coercing others to join the cult. In late October and early November 1998, robberies and assaults connected with the cult were reported over 12 days in Henan's Tanghe County, with victims' limbs broken and ears cut off.

According to Chinese law, a cult is an illegal organization that tries to control people by deifying the sect leader, delude members under the guise of religion or in other names and engage in activities that harm society.

China currently lists 14 such illegal cults, including Quannengshen and Falungong.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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