Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 7(3), pp. 140 - 149
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2019.070304
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Escaping Prophets in Zomia: The Sect of Ziona


Vanlalpeka *
Department of History, Academy of Integrated Christian Studies, Senate of Serampore College, Mizoram, India

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses about the biggest family in the world, the family of Pu Ziona, which has unique and peculiar stories to tell. The religious community led by the different leaders of the sect has fascinating narratives –exotic manifestations, polygamous feature, isolation from mainline society, communal life, and exceptional adaptability for economic sustenance. Presently, the nephew of the founding father, Pu Ziona inherited leadership of the community from his uncle and has as many as 39 wives, women of different dispositions with diverse family backgrounds. The community of Ziona also known as Lalpa Kohhran Thar (New Church of the Lord) or Chhuanthar Kohhran (Church of New Generation) has not simply survived in a context in which denominational churches have forced most new religious movements to fizzle out after a couple of decades or so; the Ziona's family has been flourishing. Looking at the close resemblance of the community with that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lalsawma called the movement The Mormons of Mizoram, also comparable with The Family in America. Like other new religious movements in the state, Vanlalchhuanawma observes that there is an "anomalistic" trait that protests against the orthodoxy of mainline churches. The community is dominated by a number of mythical features – the unchallenged status of the founding fathers, the uniqueness of the members and their unique destiny, etc. Revelation is something that is continual and keeps on going, and in this sense they challenge the unique revelation found in the Bible. In the same line, the community's dream has been characterized by millenarianism that is distinctly utopian. They expect the coming of a golden age in which the church's members will be redeemed from imminent disaster and will be given special privileges in a post-apocalyptic period. Oftentimes, they considered themselves the new Israel, the new chosen nation/family.

KEYWORDS
Zomia, Sect of Ziona, Sect in Mizoram, Christian Polygamy

Cite this paper
Vanlalpeka . "Escaping Prophets in Zomia: The Sect of Ziona." Sociology and Anthropology 7.3 (2019) 140 - 149. doi: 10.13189/sa.2019.070304.