Man with 39 wives tops strange stories’ list

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Zionnghaka ChanaAizawl, December 19, 2011: Zionnghaka Chana, the Christian cult leader with 39 wives and 120 children and grandchildren, has made it to the top of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Considered to be an authority on all things odd, amazing and unusual, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! published the annual list of the strangest stories of 2011 on Thursday.

The story of 67-year-old Chana topped 11 stories from across the world.

“Nice to get the spotlight, but there’s nothing strange about my marriages or my large family,” Chana said from Baktawng, a village 100 km north of Mizoram capital Aizawl.

“Our faith allows us to marry as many women as possible and I had married 10 women in a single year,” he said.
The family is part of a Christian cult called Channa, named after Zionnghaka’s father Challianchana, who died in 1997.

The cult, founded by Challianchana some time in the early 1930s, is now spread over four generations and boasts of having some 1,700 members.

Challianchana was believed to have had 50 wives, with Zionnghaka being the eldest of his many children. There is no count available of the number of children Challianchana had.

The family members live in a 100-room four-storeyed building perched on a hilltop.

The church leaders, Presbyterian being the dominant denomination, however, reject the cult’s claims to be Christians.

There are an estimated 95 Christian cults in Mizoram with diverse practices – some of them do not allow their children to mingle with others and attend school, while some of the sect claim their members to be gods.

The Ripley’s recognition has not amused church leaders either.

“Christianity does not allow polygamy and hence accepting the Channa cult as Chrisitan does not arise at all,” said a Presbyterian Synod elder.

– hindustan times

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