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Cult seeks converts on the mainland

Updated: 2016-11-01 07:43
By China Daily (China Daily)

A resurgent cult headquartered in Taiwan has been found actively soliciting members on the Chinese mainland as well as in areas overseas recently, according to a report from Beijing News.

The Blood of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit Full Gospel Mission, one of the seven cults identified by the State Council in 1995, organizes services at residential buildings in Beijing and Shandong province, and hires believers as cheap laborers for its catering businesses, according to the report published on Monday.

One member said he joined the Sunday gathering of the organization's local branch at a preacher's home after being told about it by a neighbor.

He used to pay regular visits to Christian churches, but there was no convenient public transportation available after he moved to a new city about five years ago. He was told there was a family church in his neighborhood and attended the weekly gathering a few times.

"We read out of the Bible at the first two gatherings, as I did previously. But I felt something was strange at the third gathering, because a preacher told me Zuo Kun is a messenger from God and conveys God's will to us," Zhang said.

"I don't believe a messenger could be a living human being, according to the Christianity I know."

Zuo, born in Jiangxi province in October 1930, founded the organization, which is also called the Holy Spirit to Rebuild the Church. Authorities in Taiwan identified it as a cult soon after the group was set up. Zuo Kun later moved from Taiwan to the US.

According to police authorities, the organization attracted more than 2,000 members in three cities in Shandong province from July to December in 2014, with the youngest believer aged 9, the Beijing News reported.

At a 2014 gathering in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, police found most members were middle school and primary school students.

The report said the organization runs cafeterias, cafes and noodle shops overseas and hires believers to work for it with little payment.

It cited police authorities as saying that the organization had collected more than 1 million yuan ($148,000) from a dozen fast food restaurants in various places, including Beijing and Tianjin.

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