On May 28, 2014, Wu Shuoyan was beaten to death in a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan, China by 6 members of a cult.
A woman, Yang Xiangbin found Quannengshen or The Church of the Almighty God in China in 1991. Soon after, Yang met Zhao Weishan, who was a former member of The Shouters; a group deemed a criminal cult by the Chinese government. Zhao quickly became the leader of Quannengshen. In 1992, the pair convinced their followers that Yang was the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In 1995, the Chinese government declared Quannengshen to be xie jiao or an illegal organization. Yang and Zhao were both able to gain political asylum in the United States and have been living in New York. They still have connections to Quannengshen.
Followers of Quannengshen believe Jesus has returned as a woman and will start the apocalypse. On the website, their beliefs are broken down into three parts: Part I-Utterances of Christ in the Beginning; Part 2-God’s Words to the Entire Universe; and Part 3-The Words of Christ As He Walked in the Churches.
Throughout the years, there have been multiple incidents involving Quannengshen, including the murder of Wu Shuoyan.
Wu Shuoyan, 37, was married to Jin Zhongqing; together they had a son. Wu worked as a sales associate in a clothing store. On the day of her murder, she went to a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan with her son to wait for her husband. While waiting, 6 members of Quannengshen entered and started asking customers for their phone numbers. Wu declined to give her number.
The members of Quannengshen or The Church of the Almighty God that walked into the McDonalds where Zhang Lidong, his girlfriend Zhang Qiaolian, his three children (from a prior relationship) Zhang Fan, Zhang Hang, and Zhang Duo, and a family friend Lu Yungchun.
The 6 members, which included a 12-year-old boy, announced their mission, and started demanding the McDonald’s patrons’ phone numbers. Some customers gave their numbers, but when Fan asked Wu Shuoyan, she refused. Upon declining to give her number a second time, Lidong started beating her with a metal mop handle he had brought with him. Zhang Fan would throw a chair at Wu, while the other members of the group joined in, cheered on, and threatened the other customers if they interfered. The group believed Wu was an evil spirit and had to destroy her. Lidong would also stomp on Wu’s head and face. She would succumb to her wounds at the scene.
Zhang Duo, the 12-year-old boy who was with the group, was not arrested. The other 5 members were arrested and charged with Wu’s murder.
Zhang Lidong and Zhang Fan were sentenced to death. Zhang Hang (born 1996) was sentenced to 10 years. Zhang Qiaolian (born 1990) was sentenced to 7 years. Lu Yungchun (born 1975) was sentenced to life in prison.
Lidong has given an interview after the murder where he continues to state that Wu was a demon and shows no remorse for his actions, stating, “I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon. We had to destroy her.”
Lu Yingchun also gave an interview, stating:
“On May 28th, I asked Zhang Hang to ask someone at McDonald’s for a phone number. If he gives us his phone number, he will have a chance to be saved in the future. Zhang Hang asked the woman for it, but the woman wouldn’t give it to her. At that time, I reacted that there had always been evil spirits attacking us and sucking us, making us feel weak. Both of us recognized her as an evil spirit and cursed her with words. Not only did she not listen, but she became more aggressive. We saw the qi on her body, swimming in circles around her back and stomach, her stomach swelled, our inspiration was getting stronger and stronger by her suction, the attack was getting stronger and stronger, and my body was getting weaker and weaker. During the fight, I saw Zhang Fan falling down little by little, as if an evil spirit was dragging her down. She shouted hard but couldn’t speak out. She could only hear a very thin hiss. When I went to support her, she called Zhang Hang and said, “Why don’t you believe it, why don’t you move? Later, I saw Zhang Fan stepping on the woman’s head and shoulders, and I also kicked the woman’s waist and ass with my feet. In the process of the devil attacking us, Zhang Fan and I gradually realized that the woman must die, otherwise the devil will devour everyone, so I told Zhang Lidong and others to beat the woman to death. Breathless. Otherwise, as long as she has breath, even if her body does not move, the power of the devil to attack us will not be weakened in the slightest because of her physical weakness.”
According to the Guardian, The Church of the Almighty God posted the following message online in response to the murder, “This case itself is full of lies and layered with dubious facts—the lies used to frame and entrap the Church of Almighty God are collapsing in on themselves,” it said. “What’s really astonishing is that the rulers of such a magnificent country would use such vile and reprehensible methods to shift the blame [for the attack] on to the Church of Almighty God.”
Lindong and Fan were executed on February 2, 2015.