A woman has been beaten to death in an attack by members of a banned Chinese cult, apparently for refusing to give cult members her telephone number.
The 37-year-old woman was attacked by a group of people described as being members of the Church of Almighty God, a Chinese doomsday cult, according to state media.
The attack occurred on Wednesday at a McDonald's restaurant in Zhaoyuan, a city in the north eastern province of Shandong, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Video surveillance footage of the attack was shown on China Central Television on Saturday.
During an interview with a CCTV journalist, Lidong Zhang, one of the group accused of the attack, claimed that the woman had rejected his daughter's request for a phone number and was accused by his daughter of being "the devil soul", which prompted the six members to attack. Zhang described in detail how they kept stamping the victim's head to the ground for about three minutes, and that "he felt great".
Six alleged group members, including four from one family, have been arrested over the attack, state media reported.
"The audacity of the cult members to terrorise their victim at a McDonald's, a chain frequented by average Chinese [people], further racked people's nerves," Xinhua said.
The group, also known as Eastern Lightning, was founded in 1989. Its core belief is that a middle-aged Chinese woman called Lightning Deng, born to an ordinary Chinese family, is the third and final coming of Christ (the first and second having been Jehovah in the old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament), who will defeat Satan and save humanity. Members believe those who do not follow the word of Lightning Deng deserve severe punishment.
The group previously claimed a global apocalypse would take place on 21 December 2012. It has been banned by Chinese authorities.