Other States

Family of Mizoram cult leader accepts his death after a day

Ziona Chana (who died today) along with his first wife Zathiangi (R) in Baktawng village in Serchhip district of Mizoram on October 28, 2011. File   | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

More than a day after refusing to believe he died, the family of a polygamous Christian cult leader in Mizoram has decided to perform his last rites.

Zion-a Chana or Zionghaka, who headed the Chana cult as well as the world’s largest family, died in a private hospital in State capital Aizawl on June 13 afternoon. He had gone into a coma on June 11 after falling ill on June 7 due to diabetes and hypertension.

But members of his family at Baktawng village, about 100 km from Aizawl, and about 3,000 followers of the cult claimed he was alive and his body still warm.

They finally accepted the death of the 76-year-old patriarch about 9 p.m. on Monday.

Zaitinkhuma, the cult’s secretary, said Zion-a would be interred in the village. “We have not yet decided on the time of his burial.”

Zion-a had 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren when he was alive. All members of the family live in a sprawling four-storey mansion in Baktawng, a self-sustaining village.

The family and the cult’s reputation had made Baktawng a major tourist attraction. Zion-a had even built a guesthouse in his mansion to cater to tourists.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 2:26:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/family-of-mizoram-cult-leader-accepts-his-death-after-a-day/article34820505.ece

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