A father and daughter who belonged to a Chinese cult have been executed for killing a woman in a McDonald’s outlet. Zhang Lidong and his daughter, Zhang Fan, who were members of the illegal Quannengshen (Church of the Almighty God) group, were executed Monday morning, the BBC reported.
The pair was part of a group of five who were convicted of attacking the woman. They had been sentenced to death in October 2014. Three others were given jail sentences ranging from seven years to life. The group reportedly tried to recruit the 35-year old victim, Wu Shuoyan, in the restaurant in the town of Zhaoyuan, Shandong District, in eastern China. And, when she refused, they beat her to death.
"I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon. We had to destroy her," the father told the BBC, in a phone interview.
In its statement, the court said Zhang Fan asked Wu for her phone number twice. When she refused, the group accused her of being “possessed by an evil spirit,” and Zhang Fan attacked her with a chair. The rest of the group also began to beat her, thrashing her with mops and stamping on her head. She died of her injuries inside the restaurant.
The cult, which refers to the Communist Party as “the Great Red Dragon,” believes that Jesus has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman to bring about the end of the world. They are led by a former physics teacher who has fled to the United States, the New Straits Times reported.
Since the killing, the Chinese government has detained hundreds of members of the cult, which on its website, reportedly claims to have millions of followers. The Chinese government has cracked down on the group since 2012, when it began distributing literature prophesying the end of the world, the Los Angeles Times reported. It is the largest such operation in China since the persecution of the Falun Gong (Law Wheel Practice) since 1999, which the country's government regards as a cult. Chinese activists have accused the government of using anti-cult activities as a cover for persecuting Christians, the Telegraph reported.
The list of permitted religions in China includes Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and Catholic and Protestant Christianity. However, tens of millions of Chinese are members of illegal underground churches. Several uprisings have sprung up from Christian sects in the past. In the 1800s, the Taiping Rebellion, which ended dynastic rule in China, was launched by a man claiming to be Jesus Christ’s brother.