Defining a cult

China's Ministry of Public Security issued a document on identifying religious cults. "Any organization … shall be identified as a cult," the document says, if it:

  • Sets up illegal organizations in the name of religion.
  • Deifies its leaders.
  • Manufactures and distributes superstitions and heresies.
  • Instigates and deceives people and recruits and controls the members by means of manufactured superstitions and heresies.
  • Is systematically involved in activities disturbing public order and endangering the security of citizens' lives and property.
Smashing organizations

The seven cults identified in the documents of the Central Committee Office and the State Council Office include three Christian groups: the Shouters, the Total Scope Church (Peter Xu's Born Again Movement), and New Testament Church, also called "Evangelical Group of the Spirit in Christ."

Bi Rongsheng, deputy director of the Religion Section in the Public Security Department of Hebei Province, said in an October 2001 speech:

"The key to thoroughly containing the spread and development of a cult is to smash the core of the cult and to completely destroy its organizational system. … All leaders in charge of the departments for domestic security and defense should put great emphases on the building up of secret forces."
Infiltrating religious groups

Sun Jianxin, vice-director of the Anhui Public Security Department, said in a February 2001 speech:

"We should vigorously … conduct reconnaissance and investigation on those who come to China to perpetrate illegal religious activities.
"Secret forces are the heart and soul in covert struggles and the crucial magic weapon in our battle. … The public security authorities should find and train a group of extraordinary ...
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