x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

China detains hundreds for spreading end of the world rumours

The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that police confiscated leaflets, DVDs and other apocalyptic propaganda in the recent arrests in eight provinces across the country.

BEIJING // Chinese police have detained over 400 people for spreading rumors of the world's impending end.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that police confiscated leaflets, DVDs and other apocalyptic propaganda in the recent arrests in eight provinces across the country.

The detentions come ahead of December 21 - a date some say the Mayans prophesied would be the end of the world and which was the subject of the apocalyptic movie 2012.

Most of those detained are reported to be members of the group Almighty God, which is also called Eastern Lightning. The group is regarded as a heretical Christian sect. It preaches that the prophet Jesus has reappeared as a woman in central China and has been accused of kidnapping and beating Christians to force conversions.