China arrests 'end of the world' believers

Chinese police have detained 101 people for spreading rumours of the end of the world.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said police confiscated leaflets, DVDs and other apocalyptic propaganda in the recent arrests in eight provinces across the country.

The detentions come ahead of Friday, December 21 - a date some say the Mayans prophesied would be the end of the world and which was the subject of the apocalyptic movie '2012'.

Nearly half of those detained are reported to be members of the group Almighty God, which is also called Eastern Lightning.

The group, regarded as a heretical Christian sect, preaches that Jesus has reappeared as a woman in central China and has been accused of kidnapping and beating Christians to force conversions.

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