BEIJING: A father-daughter duo who belonged to a banned religious cult were today executed in east China for beating a woman to death at a McDonald's outlet, after she allegedly spurned their attempt to recruit her in the group.
Zhang Fan and her father Zhang Lidong were executed after the Supreme People's Court approved the death penalty, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The two were among a group of five members of the banned Quannengshen cult and were convicted of attacking the 37-year- old woman, surnamed Wu, at a McDonald's outlet in Shandong Province's Zhaoyuan in May after she refused to give them her phone number.
Wu's death was caused by injuries sustained in the violent outburst by the group, according to a statement from the intermediate court.
While the two members of the group were executed today, the three other convicts were given varied prison terms ranging from seven years to life.
The attack had triggered a nationwide outcry after it was disclosed that the five were allegedly trying to recruit new members to the cult.
Quannengshen, meaning "Almighty God", also branded Wu an "evil spirit" for her refusal.
Soon after the brutal attack, a video of the murder went viral all over world, sending shock waves as Wu, accompanied by her little son, was virtually stamped to death in a frenzy.
The banned group, which originated in central Henan province and was outlawed by government in the mid-1990s, believes that Jesus has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman and refers to the Communist Party as the "great red dragon".
The group holds secret rallies, creates and spreads cult information and enlists new members clandestinely. It also preached that the world would end by 2012.
The sect has been widely criticized for using rumors to confuse people and coercing others to join the cult.