'Evil' Chinese Cult Begins Recruiting In Australia – Sydney Pastor Warns
By Athena Yenko | August 21, 2014 4:50 PM EST
An "evil" Chinese cult, the Eastern Lightning, also known as Church of Almighty God, is already operating in Australia.
Sydney-based pastor Andrew Hong warns that the threatening presence of the cult is already being felt among church leaders.
Police stand guard outside a court during the trial of five cult members charged with murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province, August 21, 2014.
The cult was established in the 1990s by the couple known as Yang Xiangbin and Zhao Weishan. The cult's belief is that Xiangbin is Jesus' resurrection. The couple had been living in the United States since 2000.
Five members of the cult were charged with intentional homicide for brutally attacking 37-year-old mother Wu Shuoyan when she refused to give her phone number at a McDonald's outlet in east China's Shandong province on May 28.
China's Ministry of Public Security said that among those who were charged were Zhang Lidong, 54, his partner, two children and his daughter's friend.
Lidong was convinced by her daughter to join the cult. He had admitted murdering Wu Shuoyan, Xinhua reports.
"I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon and we had to destroy her," Lidong said.
The night before the homicide, Lidong's daughter killed her pet dog believing that an evil spirit possessed it.
The ministry also found that prior to the homicide, the cult's members were already committing suicides and murders.
Chinese police had already arrested some 1,000 members of the cult. They have found that they were "high-level organizers and backbone members."
They cheat people, illegally collects money and violates the law under the guise of religion, the police said.
According to Pastor Hong, the cult has changed its name to operate inside Australia.
"It's very popular because they basically talk to people who have some experience of Christianity and say 'we can promise you freedom from sin' but it actually ends up enslaving people to a cult. While it has some similarities with Christianity it's really nothing of the sort. There's been reports of people who join a church and seem really enthusiastic, become part of the leadership, and later they discover they've been talking about Lightning from the East," Hong said.
He said that local church leaders are already conducting talks to warn Australians against joining the cult.
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