Banned Cults in China- The Church of Almighty God
Zoe Mintz’s story “China’s Cult Crackdown: What Is The Church Of Almighty God?”, International Business Times, December 10th 2014 (http://www.ibtimes.com/chinas-cult-crackdown-what-church-almighty-god-1747990)
The Church of Almighty God is a religious cult in China that has been banned as they appear to be the cause of numerous violent incidents that have occurred in the country. This group trusts that a women is the way that God has returned to Earth and that she will be the guide for mankind. This group has been behind very violent attacks including riots, a stabbing spree, and more recently, the death of women whom they beat to death. The women was beat after members of the cult became angry with her after an attempt to convert her failed and she denied them her number, two of the group’s members had been sentenced to death in association to her death. China’s goal with this cult is to identify all existing member and arrest them in an effort to keep the rest of the country safe from the group’s violent attacks and attempts at converting other citizens.
I believe that everyone is entitled to believe in what they see as fitting. However, this church implementing their beliefs on individuals in violent manners is something I see to be very inappropriate. Even though the group has some radical beliefs, it seems that sharing them in such cruel methods is what has lead them to be banned and labeled an evil cult by the government of China. I think it is important to always respect other beliefs and religions even if we do not understand them because we would want everyone to respect our beliefs as well. This group does not respect other peoples but instead believes that their beliefs are superior to the rest which is likely why they take such drastic attempts to convert people because they only see one right religion and anything that is not parallel to their beliefs is a threat against them. As William Sargant explained brainwashing as a form of shell shock and conversion with disease, we can use his comparisons with this cult as an example. The cult itself is seen as a disease in the eyes of outsiders of the cult which is why the government of China wishes to identify all its members and arrest them. This can be seen as containing the disease, or stopping the group from converting other people, in an effort to prevent the group from growing even bigger.
Irving Hexham & Karla Poewe, Understanding Cults and New Religions, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, June 1987, page 8