More doomsday sect arrests in China

21 декабря 2012, 12:34
China has detained more than 100 further members of a Christian sect accused of predicting doomsday, state media said Friday, taking the total held beyond 1,000 as officials denied cold weather was apocalypse-related, AFP reports.

More than 90 members of "Almighty God", a Christian sect which the government has accused of spreading rumours that three days of darkness would begin on Friday, were detained in the central province of Henan, the state-run China News reported.

State media also reported 17 were held in Beijing, in a wave of detentions that began last week.

The group told believers that a new era presided over by a "female Jesus" had arrived and that tsunamis and earthquakes would rock the world, the state-run Global Times daily said previously.

Temperatures are forecast to plunge in Beijing this weekend but the National Weather Bureau dismissed rumours that cold weather was a herald of the apocalypse.

"When you get to this part of the winter it's the coldest time of the year," the state-run Guangming net quoted the bureau's head forecaster Zhang Fanghua as saying. "The weather becoming cold is not strange. There is no unusual situation."

Apocalypse predictions have been widely discussed in China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood film "2012", which has set box office records in the world's most populous country.

Chinese UFO enthusiasts will gather in the southern province of Hunan to perform a "Mayan ritual" to attract alien visitors today, the Global Times reported.

"If they come to China they will surely come to us," Zhang Jinping, one of the ritual performers, told the newspaper, which added he would burn crops and light a fire to attract any such creatures.

The Global Times added: "However the aliens look, they can't be stranger than some of us."

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