Have rumors of the apocalypse in China triggered mass panic and inspired a bizarre and horrific knifing spree? Or is the Mayan calendar proving useful for Chinese authorities as a scapegoat and justification for crackdown? Via the BBC:
Chinese police have arrested more than 500 members of a doomsday cult for spreading rumors about the imminent end of the world, state media say.
At least 400 followers of the Almighty God Christian group were detained in western Qinghai province in recent days. Dozens more were held elsewhere. China’s state news agency Xinhua describes the Almighty God Christian group as a cult, saying it was established in 1990 in Henan.
In Henan province, six officials have been sacked after a knife attack by a suspected doomsday cult disciple wounded more than 20 children. The attack sparked widespread anger. The officials sacked had handled the incident improperly, state media said.