UK & World News

  • 21 August 2014, 8:31

'McDonald's Cult Murder': Five In Court

Five people have gone on trial, accused of beating a woman to death in a McDonald's restaurant for refusing to join a Chinese cult.

The five allegedly stamped on and beat the woman to death on May 28 after she refused to hand over her number during a recruitment drive.

Reports at the time suggested the murder, in Zhaoyuan city, had been filmed on CCTV and mobiles phones.

All the suspects appeared at Yantai Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province and are charged with murder. Three also face cult-related charges.

The five were allegedly trying to recruit new members for their group known as Quannengshen - or "All-powerful Spirit".

Quannengshen claims Jesus has been resurrected as a Chinese woman. It is one of 14 cults that China has listed as illegal.

Following the death, authorities announced the round-up of hundreds of alleged cult members.

China has struggled at times to control grassroots religious movements based on Christian or Buddhist ideology.

The most notable case was the Falun Gong movement that attracted millions of adherents before being brutally repressed in 1999.