Chinese Cult that Kills “Demons”
In Carrie Gracie’s article “The Chinese Cult that kills Demons” BBC news China 13 August 2014 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-28641008) a group of people belonging to a cult had killed a women by beating her in a fast food restaurant, in reaction to her not providing her phone number to the men. These people have been associated with the cult called the “Church of the almighty God” which apparently has attained over one million members. The beatings were the result of what the members of the cult thought were to be demons and therefore the people needed to be killed.
The Church of the almighty God cult has a main belief that God has returned to the earth as a Chinese woman to ruin the apocalypse. There is only one central contact to the God. There is a lot of anger by the members along with negative reactions to the Chinese government. The main reason for this outrage was related to the restriction placed upon religious freedom in China. There are millions of people who believe in orthodox religion, which is forbidden by the communists so therefore it must be practiced in private. This has resulted in the fight against “the big red dragon” which is the suppression of religious faith by the communist party. Overall this cult is against humans, families and government. The recruiters of the cult try to target vulnerable and or weak individuals. The cult has destroyed various families causing the members to be arrested for murder. The cult members try to justify their actions by explaining that their victims are demons that need to be destroyed in order to protect themselves and the cult.
Cults are somewhat difficult to define. As identified in “Understanding Cults and New Religions” (Haxham & Poewe 1987) this particular cult identifies with the theory that cults work to counter the beliefs and values of the dominant culture. Cults have often been associated with negative ideas, involving brain washing and other sorts of manipulative behaviour (Haxham & Poewe 1987). This news story is very alarming in the way that people can be manipulated into murdering completely innocent people, including family members for the delusion that they are demons. In class we have touched on the idea that cults are very exclusive. They are often small in nature, with characteristics surrounding high tension and established religious beliefs and traditions. They can often result in dangerous and very consequential outcomes such as mass suicide and brain washing.
This article is helpful in presenting how cults are all over the world, and how consequential the actions of the groups can be. This particular cult is very interesting as they kill people that they subjectively see as being demons, even if they are ones family members. It is important to realize what kind of religious activity is occurring around the world, it is important to have an understanding of why people join cults in the first place, and how they become so involved in a movement that they are willing to harm innocent people. The Church of the almighty God cult exemplifies the result of contradictory beliefs and religious oppression amongst a society.
-MC #341 #uwreligions