Two members of the banned Church of the Almighty God cult were executed after brutally beating a woman to death in a Shandong McDonald’s restaurant last May.
Zhang Lidong and his daughter Zhang Fan were found guilty and sentenced to death in October last year while three other members involved with the crime were given jail sentences ranging from seven years to life in prison.
The father and daughter were executed after they had “committed murder and used a cult to intentionally break the law,” the Shandong Yantai Intermediate People’s Court announced on its official Weibo account this morning.
Video footage shot with a cellphone inside the Zhaoyuan McDonald’s on May 28 shows the five members violently beating a 37-year-old woman after she refused to give them her phone number during a recruitment attempt.
In an interview with CCTV, Zhang Lidong said that the victim “is the devil and evil spirits. We had to beat her to death. We don’t consider or fear laws. We only believe in God.”
The grisly story led to a nationwide crackdown on religious cults in an attempt to ease public fear.
China claims that it has arrested nearly 400,000 followers of Almighty God from 2011 to 2014, according to the BBC.