Victims of ‘Eastern Lightning’ death cult: Zhou Dian Yu 2001

Eager to learn more about her faith and unaware of the danger, Chinese Christian Zhou Dian Yu attended a meeting of a group called Eastern Lightning in October 2001. But Eastern Lightning is a cult, founded in 1989 by Zhao Wei Shan, that has infiltrated many house churches in China and has around a million adherents.

It teaches that Christ has come back a second time as a woman. A particular concern is that the group exercises control over its members through violence, drugs and a strict hierarchy. This means that Christians who may become involved can find it almost impossible to escape without risking harm to themselves or their families.

This is sadly what happened to Dian Yu. Upon returning from the meeting to her church she was alerted to the dangers of the cult and decided not to be part of it any more. She went to take back the books that they had given her but she did not return. Her body was found the following day; she had been poisoned by coal fumes.

Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant.

Cause me to hear, cause me to know, teach me to do, lead me.

Henry Martyn (1781-1812)


Originally published in Heroes of our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo, Isaac Publishing