Myths, Fake News and the Internet: The Case of The Church of Almighty God

Marco Respinti

Sensationalizing new religious movements is a usual practice. One popular Internet practice is to use “lists” to attract users. Lists of “cultic” or objectionable features of  certain movements are used to perpetuate stereotypes, badmouth religious minorities, and spread fake news.

The Church of Almighty God (CAG), the largest Christian new religious movement in  China, has been a frequent victim of these campaigns. Some fake news come from the  Chinese Communist Party, which should find reasons to justify a massive, cruel, and  decade-long persecution. Others come from Christian religionists disturbed by the  phenomenal growth of the CAG in China (government sources claimed in 2014 it had  reached four million members), which happened largely at their expenses.

Unfortunately, fake news is also used to deny the asylum requests of those CAG  members who managed to escape China and settle in other countries as refugees. Massimo Introvigne, probably the most knowledgeable scholar of the CAG  internationally, has now debunked the ten most widespread myths about the Church in  an article written for the daily magazine about religious liberty in China, Bitter Winter.  The article is available at

https://bitterwinter.org/the-church-of-almighty-god-eastern-lightning-10-false-myths/.

It also includes a movie about the most common, but false, accusation against the CAG,  that it was responsible for the murder of a woman in a McDonald’s diner in Zhaoyuan,  Shandong, in 2014. The murder was actually perpetrated by another, smaller religious  movement, and the movie includes a statement from the very voice of the main assassin, who was executed in 2015, that she never had any contact with the CAG.

 

Author: admin

CAP Liberté de Conscience, a French NGO created in 2000 dedicated to the respect of the Right of Freedom of Religion and Belief. CAP LC is expert since now 20 years, in religious minorities’ discriminations in France and Europe. CAP Liberté de Conscience organizes events, conferences, meetings to unite minority religions to counter discrimination mainly in France but also in Europe and worldwide.

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contact European Coordination for Freedom of Conscience : contact@coordiap.com

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