Police across China are rounding up members of a quasi-Christian doomsday cult who have been preaching the end of the world and urging people to launch a “decisive battle” to slay the “big red dragon” of the Communist party.
Scores and perhaps hundreds of members of an outlawed cult known as the Church of Almighty God have been detained throughout the country in recent days as Beijing tries to stop believers taking drastic action on what they believe to be the eve of the apocalypse, according to relatives of cult members and state media reports.
Walter Russell Mead sayeth the dread phrase “Second Taipeng Rebellion,” and it fits: these folks seem to be a bunch of syncretic Christian/folk religion cult with an apocalyptic-Messianic worldview and a real loathing of the existing dynasty. And if this group starts a rebellion – big if – it’s not something to celebrate. Chinese civil disturbances tend to get very, very messy, very, very fast.