China arrests nearly 1,000 doomsday ‘cult’ members

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Updated 20 December 2012
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China arrests nearly 1,000 doomsday ‘cult’ members

BEIJING: China has arrested nearly 1,000 people in a crackdown on a Christian sect that spread doomsday rumors and targeted communist rule, state media said Thursday ahead of the supposedly Mayan-foretold apocalypse.
The group has been accused of spreading doomsday rumors apparently linked to the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar and urging followers to slay the “red dragon” of communism, state media reports said.
Close to 1,000 followers of the sect, which state-run media labels an “evil cult” — the same description it applies to the banned Falun Gong group — have been held in a nationwide crackdown that began last week, state-run CCTV reported.
Police detained more than 350 members in the southwestern province of Guizhou, while in the northwestern province of Qinghai more than 400 were held for “gathering unlawfully,” the Beijing Times reported.
Smaller numbers have been held in other areas across the country.
The cult predicts that three days of darkness will begin on Friday, and has called on its members to overthrow China’s ruling Communist Party, which it refers to as “the big red dragon,” the state-run Global Times reported.
It has also told believers that a new era presided over by a “female Jesus” has arrived and that tsunamis and earthquakes will rock the world, the Global Times said.
The apocalypse predictions have received widespread coverage in China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood disaster film “2012,” which was inspired by the supposed Mayan prophecy.
Chinese state-run media have condemned the group in lurid detail, with the China Youth Daily reporting that the cult “even uses ‘sex communication,' calling on female members to use their sex appeal to seduce single men.”
The sect was founded in the early 1990s, but has remained secretive in the face of government intolerance of non-official religious groups.
Group members use pseudonyms such as “Little White Rabbit” or “Doggy” to conceal their identities, and are often not allowed to carry mobile phones or other communication devices, China Business View magazine reported.
China’s Communist Party does not tolerate challenges to its authority and has brutally cracked down on religious groups that refuse to toe the party line, including the Buddhist-inspired Falun Gong, which was banned in the late 1990s.
Authorities were shocked when Falun Gong was able to quietly mass thousands of silent protesters at key symbolic locations including Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the central leadership compound of Zhongnanhai.
China has a long history of religiously-inspired anti-government movements, most notably the nineteenth century “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom,” led by a Christian convert who gathered millions of followers in an attempt to overthrow the emperor.
Earlier this week CCTV quoted police in Qinghai as saying their investigation into the sect was related to stability maintenance and would be linked to “our anti-self-immolation fight.”
The comment was a reference to nearly 100 Tibetans setting themselves on fire since 2009 in protest at China’s rule of its Tibetan-inhabited regions, which include Qinghai.


Six militants, two soldiers killed in NW Pakistan gunfight — military

Updated 23 June 2018
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Six militants, two soldiers killed in NW Pakistan gunfight — military

  • The clash took place in South Waziristan after security forces were tipped off about the presence of militants who had entered the area pretending to be returning displaced locals, a military statement said
  • Six militants and two soldiers were killed in the fighting, including Nanakar, who was wanted for several murders of local elders and tribesmen

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: Six militants and two soldiers were killed on Saturday during a fierce gunfight in a northwestern Pakistani tribal district bordering Afghanistan, military and local security officials said.
The clash took place in South Waziristan’s Spina Mela village after security forces were tipped off about the presence of militants who had entered the area pretending to be returning displaced locals, a military statement said.
Six militants and two soldiers were killed in the fighting, including a most wanted militant called Nanakar, the statement added.
Nanakar, who goes by one name, was wanted for several murders of local elders and tribesmen.
The troops also seized weapons, ammunition and devices through which militants were in communication with handlers across the border in Afghanistan, the military said.
Two local security officials in Miranshah, the main town of neighboring North Waziristan, confirmed the clash and casualties to AFP.
The US has repeatedly accused Pakistan of allowing the tribal areas to harbor militants fighting in Afghanistan — an allegation Islamabad has consistently denied.