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By Zhao Runhua / Dec 28, 2018 10:02 PM / Politics & Law

Police in Qinghai province claim they have “almost wiped out” the Church of Almighty God, a cult the central government prohibits.

The government said that within the past eight months, 1,500 police officers have been deployed in anti-cult projects that target the Church of Almighty God. During the same period, the government confiscated illegal items, including 4,416 cult books and brochures, 16 computers, and 57 smartphones.

Two crackdown missions in the cities of Haixi and Xining on Oct. 26 and Nov. 30 led to the arrest of 49 members and the destruction of 18 of the cult’s bases, the government statement said.

Established in 1993 by Zhao Weishan, a former physics teacher, the Church of Almighty God preaches that Jesus Christ has been reincarnated.

The Church of Almighty God didn’t attract much attention from China’s mainstream society until the violent murder of a saleswoman at a McDonald’s restaurant in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province, in 2014.

Public records of Qinghai’s attempt to crack down the Church of Almighty God date to 2012. In December 2012, the government claimed it had arrested over 400 members of the group.

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