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Five members of a cult were put on trial in China on Thursday for beating a woman to death at a McDonald’s restaurant in May.
The Associated Press reported that members of the All-powerful Spirit group are accused of repeatedly hitting the woman with chairs and poles because she would not join their anti-Communist Christian sect.
Another patron in the restaurant captured video of the brutal attack on a cell phone.
The New York Times noted that the cult members involved in the beating death include Zhang Lidong, 54, his 29-year-old and 18-year-old daughters, his 12-year-old son and two other women. Zhang’s son is too young to be charged and is not standing trial with the others.
The victim, Wu Shuoyan, 35, was beaten in the Zhaoyuan McDonald’s after she did not give the cult followers her phone number. She was reportedly waiting for her husband and son to arrive at the restaurant.
Such cults have been growing in China, despite the government’s efforts to restrict citizens to only following the five approved faiths of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism.
Many in the country have called for harsh penalties for those on trial.