The ‘Eastern Lightning’ cult of China is said to have made inroads into India’s northeast, particularly the Christian-majority state of Nagaland, and church leaders are now petrified. The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), the largest and most influential body of Baptist churches and associations in the state had sent out a warning on August 19 through a letter to all its associate units and churches, warning against the cult of the Chinese “lady Jesus”. NBCC is the central organisation of nearly 1,500 Baptist churches in Nagaland. With 88 per cent of the state’s two million people following the Christian faith, the Chinese cult has emerged as a rather tremendous threat.
The Eastern Lightning cult of China, which is also referred to as the “Church of Almighty God” has close to three to four million followers, and for the Nagaland Baptist Church Council to sound an alert against it is indicative of the cult’s growing presence in the state and region. A Facebook page called‘The Church of Almighty God’ has around 137,000 followers. The page claims Almighty God to be the second coming of Jesus, and the organisation says it has offices in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany, Netherlands, France and South Korea.
According to the NBCC letter, the cult is spreading its tentacles in the state and region by targeting the youth and using colourful and enticing artwork which appears to be ‘biblical’. Much of the cult’s operations are taking place online, including their daily prayer service/worship. Church leaders of Nagaland are pegging the number of followers which the cult has gained from the state to be anywhere from 400 to 500.
“Jesus said in his word that he would return to Earth, not as the Almighty who speaks through a woman from China, but as he was, is and shall ever be. Let us beware of this dangerous cult as they are actively spreading a false gospel and false teachings,” the letter by the NBCC read. Writing on behalf of the central body, NBCC general secretary Rev. Zelhou Keyho added, “The cult teaches that Jesus/God has come back to Earth as a woman, named Yang Xiangbin, also called Lightning Deng, and the New Testament has been replaced by their new bible, called ‘The Word Appears in the Flesh’.”
The Eastern Lightning cult was founded in 1991, and was on expected lines, banned by China in 1995. The group’s core tenet is that Jesus Christ has returned to earth and is presently living as a Chinese woman called Yang Xiangbin, who was born in 1973. After having been banned by China, Yang Xiangbin or the “lady Jesus” took asylum in the United States along with her aide, Zhao Weishan. The cult’s operations globally are now handled from New York.
The cult publishes the revelations of its female Jesus; most of which are collected in their book called ‘The Word Appears in the Flesh’. Interestingly, the followers of “lady Jesus’ refer to her as ‘he’, in compliance with the original Jesus Christ’s human form. Why such a group would end up making inroads into India, at a time when China is actively working towards the detriment of our country is something which raises many eyebrows. Although the cult is proclaimed ‘anti-communist’, it would not come as a surprise to see the CCP using Lady Jesus as a proxy to hurt India from within. The NBCC, meanwhile, which made a clarion call to the people and leaders of the state to choose between the Trishul and the Cross during the Nagaland state elections, finds itself in quite a spot.