93 held in China over doomsday rumours

Beijing, Dec 17 (IANS) At least 93 people have been detained across China for spreading rumours of the supposed forthcoming apocalypse Dec 21, officials said Monday.

The people were detained in seven provinces, Xinhua reported.

They include 37 members of the "Almighty God" cult in Qinghai province.

The cult members recently latched on to the Mayan doomsday prophecy to predict that the sun will not shine and electricity will not work for three days beginning Dec 21, officials said in provincial capital Xining.

Many banners, books and printing machines were seized by police.

Four cult members were detained in the neighbouring Inner Mongolia region for swindling elderly people in a remote mountain area. They said that only by believing in their cult could they survive the doomsday.

As many as 34 people were held in Jinjiang city in Fujian, four in Chongqing, two in Sichuan, seven in Shaanxi and five in Hubei for handing out leaflets about the apocalypse, officials said.

The Almighty God cult was established in 1990 in Henan province. It requires its members to surrender their property to the group.

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