China executes cult pair for McDonald’s killing

The father and daughter were convicted of attacking the woman after she refused to give them her phone number when they tried to recruit her.

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BEIJING // A father and daughter who belonged to a banned Chinese cult were executed on Monday for beating a woman to death at a McDonald’s restaurant.

The pair were among a group of five members of the Quannengshen cult — a fringe Chinese religious group. They were convicted of attacking the woman, surnamed Wu, after she rebuffed their efforts to recruit her by refusing to give them her phone number.

“Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong were put to death,” the official news agency Xinhua said on Monday.

Zhang Fan was previously said by state media to be Zhang Lidong’s daughter.

Quannengshen, whose name can be translated as Church of Almighty God, believe that Jesus has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman and refer to the Communist Party as the “great red dragon”.

It was outlawed by the government in the mid-1990s.

Shortly after the May incident, an online video emerged showing a man resembling Zhang Lidong striking out angrily with a pole, shouting “Damn you, devil! Go to hell!” as a woman yelled “Kill her! Beat her to death!”

The three minutes of footage, apparently shot on a mobile phone at the McDonald’s in the eastern Shandong province, only included a fraction of a second of the person thought to be the victim.

The three others convicted over the attack — including another daughter of Zhang Lidong’s — were given prison terms ranging from seven years to life.

China has previously cracked down harshly on groups it labels “cults”, most notably the Falungong spiritual movement, which was banned in the late 1990s.

* Agence France-Presse