POSTED: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 1:00am
UPDATED: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 1:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — More than 500 people who allegedly spread rumors of the apocalypse in the past few weeks have been arrested in China, according to state run media.
Among those arrested are 400 members of a banned cult known as "Almighty God" that allegedly handed out leaflets about the end of the world and spread rumors.
China has launched a nationwide crackdown on the cult which as called for a decisive battle to slay the communist party or, in its words, the "red dragon."
The communist party in China tolerates no challenges to its rule and is keen to maintain social stability. However, authorities have struggled to halt rumors which often spread quickly over the internet.