Patriarch of ‘world’s largest family’ dead

Zion-a Chana, chief of a Christian cult, had 39 wives and 94 children.

Zion-a Chana, patriarch of a Christian cult who held the world record for being the head of the world’s largest family, passed away at a private hospital in Aizawl on Sunday. He was 76.

Members of his family said he had been suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. He was unable to eat since June 7 and went into a coma on June 11.

Doctors from Aizawl went to his village Baktawng Tlangnuam, about 100 km from Aizawl, and advised his family to shift him to Aizawl. He died soon after being brought to the hospital on June 13.

“Mizoram bids farewell to Mr. Zion-a, believed to head the world’s largest family. His village became a major tourist attraction in the State because of his family,” Chief Minister Zoramthanga said.

Ziona Chana having lunch with his wives at their home in Baktawng village in Serchhip district of Mizoram on 28 October 2011.  | Photo Credit: Staff


Mr. Chana headed the Chana Pawl, a cult that his father Khuangtuaha had founded in June 1942. The cult believes in polygamy and has about 2,000 members, most of them living in the self-sustaining Baktawng Tlangnuam.

Mr. Chana had 181 members living under one roof — his 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He and his family featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

His four-storey mansion has a ‘khualbuk’ (guesthouse) to accommodate visitors.

On Saturday, taekwondo grandmaster Luthre Lohar died in Shillong. He was in his late 70s.

“Meghalaya loses a legend with the passing of Grandmaster Luthre Lohar, 1st Indian Black Belt in #Taekwondo who introduced Taekwondo in India & Meghalaya & founder of the Meghalaya Taekwondo Association. My condolences to his family, friends & well-wishers,” Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma tweeted.

Mr. Lohar was a 7th Dan black belt in taekwondo.

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