10 Disturbing Facts About The Church of Almighty God

10 Disturbing Facts About The Church of Almighty God

In the “10 Disturbing Facts About The Church of Almighty God,” we uncover unsettling aspects of a controversial religious movement that has garnered global attention. From its targeted recruitment of vulnerable individuals to its leaders living in exile in the United States, the Church’s practices raise numerous concerns. 

The article delves into the group’s involvement in violent incidents, including the notorious McDonald’s murder in Zhaoyuan, and its staunch anti-communist agenda against the Chinese government. Additionally, we explore its presence on China’s ban list of dangerous cults, its origins from a schism with the Shouters, and its apocalyptic teachings that have led to social disruptions. 

The allegations of kidnapping, brainwashing, financial exploitation, and disputes over criminal incidents further paint a complex and troubling picture of this group. Join us as we navigate through these alarming revelations about the Church of Almighty God.

1. Targeted Recruitment of Vulnerable Individuals:

Targeted Recruitment of Vulnerable Individuals


The Church of Almighty God’s recruitment strategies are reportedly focused on individuals in vulnerable situations. This includes women, who may face societal or workplace discrimination in China, making them more susceptible to the group’s outreach. 

An example of their approach can be seen in their alleged tactics of using emotional appeals and promises of spiritual salvation to attract these groups. In some cases, the Church reportedly uses social gatherings or familial connections to introduce their beliefs subtly. 

For instance, there have been reports of members being introduced to the Church’s teachings by in-laws or during casual social meet-ups, making the indoctrination process appear less confrontational and more organic. These tactics are designed to appeal to those seeking a sense of community or spiritual fulfilment, leveraging their current state of vulnerability.


2. Involvement in Violent Incidents: 

The Church has been linked to several violent acts, most infamously the murder of a woman in a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan in 2014. This incident, where members killed the woman for refusing to give her phone number, caused widespread outrage and fear.

There are additional reported cases of violence associated with the Church of Almighty God beyond the McDonald’s incident in Zhaoyuan. One notable case occurred in 2012, when the Church was linked to a series of violent crimes as part of its doomsday prophesizing. 

This included an incident where a member, Min Yongjun, went on a stabbing spree in Chenpeng Village, Henan Province, attacking 23 students at a primary school. Min Yongjun was reportedly influenced by the Church’s apocalyptic teachings.

3. Anti-Communist Agenda: 

The Church of Almighty God openly criticizes the Chinese Communist Party, which they refer to as “the Great Red Dragon,” a reference to the biblical book of Revelation. They view the government as an impediment to their divine mission.

The Church of Almighty God’s anti-communist agenda, while vocal, has had limited success in terms of tangible impact against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Their rhetoric, labeling the CCP as “the Great Red Dragon,” reflects a deep ideological opposition, rooted in biblical symbolism. They perceive the government as a major obstacle to their spiritual objectives. 

However, their efforts to undermine or challenge the CCP have been largely symbolic and non-lethal, primarily confined to their religious teachings and propaganda. The Chinese government, known for its stringent control over religious groups, has been largely effective in suppressing the Church’s activities within China. 

Despite the Church’s strong anti-communist stance, they have not posed a significant threat to the CCP’s stability or power, as the government’s crackdown on the group and control over religious practices in the country remain robust.

4. Presence on China’s Ban List: 

The Chinese government has labeled the Church of Almighty God as a dangerous cult, placing it alongside other controversial groups accused of extreme and harmful practices.

The inclusion of the Church of Almighty God on China’s official ban list of dangerous cults underscores the government’s stringent stance against what it perceives as extremist religious practices. This designation places the Church in the same category as other banned groups like Falun Gong, which have faced severe crackdowns. The Chinese government’s criteria for labeling these groups as cults often include accusations of spreading anti-government propaganda, disrupting social order, and engaging in illegal or unethical activities. 

Being on this list means members of the Church face heightened surveillance, arrest, and harsh penalties. The government’s aggressive approach reflects its broader policy of maintaining tight control over religious expression and safeguarding social stability.

5. Leaders Living in Exile: 

 Leaders Living in Exile

Zhao Weishan and Yang Xiangbin, the leaders of the Church of Almighty God, reportedly fled to the United States and were granted political asylum around the early 2000s. From their base in the U.S., they continue to lead the Church, utilizing digital media to communicate with and guide their followers worldwide. 

They leverage websites, online videos, and social media platforms to disseminate teachings and maintain their influence. The Chinese government, viewing the Church as a dangerous cult, has strongly criticized their activities and the U.S. decision to grant them asylum. 

Beijing’s response includes a crackdown on the Church’s activities within China, arresting members and publicly denouncing the group’s practices and beliefs, as part of its broader campaign against what it considers illegal religious movements.

6. Origins from a Schism: 

This Church originated from a split with another religious group known as the Shouters, inheriting and modifying some of their doctrines. The Shouters themselves had a controversial past, being active during China’s Cultural Revolution.

The Church of Almighty God’s split from the Shouters marked a significant moment in its formation. The Shouters, influenced by the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, were known for their vocal worship practices, hence the name. Active particularly during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, they faced substantial persecution. 

The emergence of the Church of Almighty God from this group involved adopting and adapting certain theological aspects, notably the concept of a continuing revelation and a living Christ. This schism not only birthed a new movement but also highlighted the evolving landscape of Christian-inspired religious movements in China amidst political and social upheaval.

7. Apocalyptic Teachings: 

The Church of Almighty God’s apocalyptic teachings center on the belief that the world is nearing its end, a narrative that has significant implications for both its members and the broader society. These beliefs are often intertwined with the idea that their spiritual leader is a divine figure sent to guide humanity through these end times. 

The emphasis on an impending apocalypse has led to heightened fervor among followers, sometimes manifesting in extreme behaviors and social disruptions. Notably, this narrative has been linked to incidents of violence, as some members interpret their role as actively fighting against evil forces, including the state. 

Such teachings have not only caused internal strife within the group but also attracted intense scrutiny and action from law enforcement agencies, particularly in China where the group originated.

8. Allegations of Kidnapping and Brainwashing: 

The allegations of kidnapping and brainwashing against the Church of Almighty God are among the most disturbing aspects of its operations. Although specific numbers are hard to quantify due to the secretive nature of the group and the limitations in reporting from China, numerous individual accounts and media reports have highlighted these practices. 

For example, there have been instances where individuals, including those from other Christian denominations, were reportedly abducted and subjected to intense indoctrination sessions. These sessions often involve psychological pressure, isolation from family and friends, and immersion in the Church’s teachings, aimed at breaking down individuals’ resistance. 

Such tactics are said to be a part of the Church’s strategy to expand its membership and maintain control over its followers, contributing to the group’s controversial reputation.


9. Financial Exploitation Claims: 

Claims of financial exploitation within the Church of Almighty God have raised significant concerns. Members are allegedly required to donate a portion of their income to the Church, which can lead to financial strain. 

The exact amount varies, but reports suggest it can be a substantial part of their earnings. Leaders Zhao Weishan and Yang Xiangbin are accused of accumulating considerable wealth from these contributions. 

There are anecdotal accounts of followers facing economic hardships due to these obligatory donations. For instance, some former members have recounted instances where they were pressured into selling property or taking loans to fulfill donation expectations. 

These practices have been described as financially burdensome and exploitative, contributing to the controversial image of the Church and the scrutiny it faces from authorities and former members.

10. Disputes Over Criminal Incidents: 

The Church of Almighty God’s stance on distancing itself from members involved in criminal activities has been a subject of controversy. Following incidents like the 2014 McDonald’s murder in Zhaoyuan, the Church stated that the perpetrators were not its members, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. 

This stance has been viewed skeptically, as critics argue that the Church’s apocalyptic and anti-establishment teachings could incite such behavior. There isn’t a publicly available comprehensive tally of all criminal allegations against the Church’s members, but several high-profile cases have been reported in the media. 

Critics contend that the Church’s teachings might contribute to a mindset that justifies extreme actions, even as the Church officially denounces these acts. This dispute highlights the complex relationship between the Church’s doctrine and the actions of its followers.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What does the Church of Almighty God believe in?

The Church of Almighty God, also known as Eastern Lightning, believes that God has returned to Earth as a Chinese woman, Yang Xiangbin, to bring about the apocalypse. This belief deviates significantly from mainstream Christian theology. The group teaches that God, known as Jehovah in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament, is now called Almighty God. Their doctrine emphasizes the final judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

2. What denomination is Church of the Great God?

The Church of the Great God is a different entity and should not be confused with the Church of Almighty God. The Church of the Great God is an American Christian group, focusing on end-time prophecies and the return of Jesus Christ. It is considered a non-mainstream Christian group with its specific interpretations of biblical prophecy.

3. Where is the Church of the Almighty God?

The Church of Almighty God originated in China in the early 1990s. It has faced significant persecution by the Chinese government and is officially banned in China. Due to this persecution, its leaders, Zhao Weishan and Yang Xiangbin, reportedly sought asylum in the United States in the early 2000s. The Church has a presence in several countries through online and underground networks.

4. Who is female Jesus in China?

In the beliefs of the Church of Almighty God, the “female Jesus” in China refers to Yang Xiangbin, who is regarded by the group as the second coming of Christ in a female form. This belief is one of the core teachings of the Church of Almighty God and is a significant point of divergence from traditional Christian beliefs. Yang Xiangbin is also known as Lightning Deng and is said to be a central figure in the Church’s theology.



The Church of Almighty God presents a complex and deeply concerning profile through its controversial practices and beliefs. From its strategic targeting of vulnerable individuals to allegations of financial exploitation and involvement in violent incidents, the Church’s actions have elicited widespread alarm. 

The group’s anti-communist rhetoric and presence on China’s ban list further accentuate its contentious standing. These revelations underscore the need for awareness and critical examination of such movements, highlighting the intricate interplay between religious beliefs, societal impact, and legal scrutiny.

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