Police in China have arrested and detained 18 members and destroyed two “lairs” of a banned Christian cult that became notorious for the murder of a woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in 2014.
The Church of Almighty God members were detained recently in Changxing County, Zhejiang province, Xinhua News Agency said.
Police also confiscated items from two properties, including over 150 books, 460 propaganda pamphlets, 81 handwritten notes, as well as many hard drives and laptops.
The cult claims that Jesus was reincarnated as a Chinese woman and has said that its mission is to bring down the Communist Party, whom they refer to as the “big red dragon.”
A physics teacher, Zhao Weishan, who claims to have had direct contact with the reincarnated female Jesus, founded the group about 25 years ago.
Zhao has since fled and claimed asylum in the U.S..
The organization gained global attention in May 2014 when six members murdered a 35-year-old woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in eastern China’s Shandong province.
The woman had refused to give her phone number to the group’s evangelists, who then beat her to death with chairs and a metal mop handle.
The attack was caught on a security camera and the phones of witnesses.