Connect to share and comment

End of the world rumors lead to arrests in China

Chinese police have detained over 500 people for spreading rumors about the world's impending apocalypse.

China cult arrestedEnlarge
Think circulating the latest end of the world rumors is harmless? Not in China, where authorities have arrested over 500 people for spreading word about the world's impending apocalypse. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

Think circulating the latest end of the world rumors is harmless? Not in China, where authorities have arrested over 500 people for spreading word about the world's impending apocalypse. 

The detained gossips are reportedly members of a group called Almighty God, also known as Eastern Lightning, inspired by a phrase from the Bible's Book of Matthew, according to ABC News.  

The group is a Christian sect that believes Jesus has reappeared on earth in the form of a woman in central China, according to ABC News. They were detained for disturbing social order in the name of religion, Bloomberg Businessweek reported

In the past, Eastern Lightening members have been accused of kidnapping and beating Christians to make them convert to the cult, the Irish Examiner reported. It also reportedly makes converts turn over their personal property to the group, according to CNN

"Because China has no established religion, people looking for a way to set their minds at ease may turn to cults,"  sociologist Zhou Xiaozheng of People's University told the Los Angeles Times. "People don't believe in what the government says, so they may wind up believing in wild rumors."

Police also seized a large number of banners, disks, slogans, books and printing machines, CNN reported. 

More from GlobalPost: Series: Apocalypse Soon

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/121218/end-the-world-rumors-arrests-china