Inside a 'cult': Chinese husband goes undercover in religious sect linked to McDonald's killing

A man who posed as a member of the banned religious cult the Church of Almighty God has said it believes anybody who is against the group is a demon or evil spirit, a mainland newspaper reported.

Members of the movement, which calls itself Quannengshen, were arrested last week for beating a woman to death at a McDonald's restaurant in Shandong province.

The woman, Wu Shuoyan, was waiting in the restaurant for her husband after work when she was approached by church members who asked for her phone number.

She refused and state-run television quoted the leader of the group as saying the beating started when his daughter accused Wu of being an "evil spirit".

The man who posed as a church member told the Beijing Youth Daily he did so to get his wife to leave the group.

He said followers were first initiated by attending bible study classes.

Church members were taught orthodox Christian doctrine, but later "abnormal teachings" were added, he said.

Members were encouraged to "break the bondage of family, which is the real start of believing in God", according to the report.

The man, who was not named, said church followers were considered holy, while people who had not converted were impure. Those who opposed the group were considered evil.

The man said he met some kind people in the lower ranks. "But they'd been brainwashed as they hoped the church would help give them and their families immortality," he said.

The authorities have launched a further crackdown against the group after the killing of Wu in Zhaoyuan on May 28.

Five people were jailed for between three and 3-1/2 years in Xi county near Xinyang, Henan province for editing and handing out leaflets about the church, Xinhua reported.

Four women in Huanren county in Liaoning were jailed for between three and four years for organising illegal activities and distributing publicity material for the banned religious group, Xinhua said.

At least 93 members of the cult were arrested in 2012 after it said the world would end in December 2012. Banners, books and leaflets were also seized.

The group was founded in Henan province in the 1990s.

It was banned by the authorities on the mainland in 1995.

One of its core belief is that a female Jesus will save followers from the apocalypse.