Demon killing Chinese cult …

Demon killing Chinese cult …
An article written by Carrie Gracie and published by BBC (http://bbc.in/1t1nv9J) on August 13th of 2014 is a gruesome depiction of a New Religious Movement (NRM) taken too far.  In late May of 2014 a group belonging to a banned Christian cult called the Church of Almighty God beat a woman to death in a small town McDonalds in Zhaoyuan of Eastern China because she refused to give them her telephone number, while bystanders filmed it with mobile devices.
As defined by James T. Richardson a cult is “a group that has beliefs and/or practices that are counter to the dominant culture.” (Understanding Cults and New Religions, pp 6). In China after the movement by Falun Gong several religious movements sprung up, which the Chinese government classified as xiejao, meaning ‘evil cult’. These cults served as revolts against the Chinese government. The Church of Almighty God is belief in a prophetic myth that God returned to Earth as a woman named Yang Xiangbin and she will guide mankind, while the Chinese Communist Party called the ‘Red Dragon’ will bring about the end of the world. The Church of Almighty God is a reinterpretation and reuse of traditional Christianity and is a classic example of how religion so closely resembles a living organism with its ability to change and adapt to peoples needs. Many Westerners will participate in moral cult panic blaming brainwashing for the negative events, but are unaware of the conditions the people who choose to join cults are under and take the NRM out of context. Cults are usually the result of subpar circumstances and many people will join voluntarily out of desperation. In China, specifically rural China, the conditions are very poor and considered ‘developing’. Thus, there might be positive value in conversion to the Church of Almighty God as it would give hope for a better future and freedom from the ‘Red Dragon’, which seems to be the main cause of their suffering. Concerns arise when the NRM goes from giving hope to breeding radical, violent, destructive behavior as seen with the events in the McDonalds. Unfortunately this creates propaganda and negative or positive it will spread the word of the Almighty God throughout the Internet and media. This spread of knowledge and information is used as power to continue to propel the NRM. With all of the violence associated with the group it is obvious that the Chinese authorities need to make a change, but they have gone about in in the wrong way. The Communist Chinese government with the support of their court system decided to ban the cult and several others, completely ignoring the basic human right to religious freedom and overlooked the welfare of their people. China is a country marked in manifested anger and for the people desperate times call for desperate measures. If their government focused more on improving conditions and less on punishing it’s offenders it would be the beginning of positive change in China. To find out what happened to the offenders look at (http://cnn.it/1K5Pk7l).

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