The latest worry to the ruling Communist Party is the “Eastern Lightning,” branded as a doomsday cult that is sweeping some of China’s poorer regions. Similar to the Maya calendar cult, which held that the world would end on December 21, the Eastern Lightning believers think that the world will be consumed by fire and darkness, although their dates seem to be more flexible. By one estimate, the cult has about one million members.
Jesus Christ has come again, they say, reincarnated as a woman in He Nan province, who is even now organizing the climatic battle between good and evil. The evil is the “Red Dragon,” and it most likely stands for the Communist Party.
That has the authorities worried. The cult takes its name from the bible, Mathew 24/27: “For as the lightning commeth out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall, also, the coming of the Son of Man be.”