On Nov. 24, 2015 of the lunar calendar, Zhang Chuanyang, a villager of Xiyue Village, Wuqiao County of Hebei Province, prevented his wife Li Xiuju from taking medicine, resulting in a heart attack and her death. She died under a telephone pole, at the age of 50.
Zhang Chuanjiang Prevented His Wife from Taking Medicine Due to His Belief in the Cult of Mentuhui
Zhang Chuanjiang was born in 1960. He used to be a mason and a contractor, leading a number of construction workers for small projects. The family was well-off and lived a comfortable life. However, in May 2005, his wife was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Persuaded by their fellow villagers, the couple joined Mentuhui. Zhang, who was quite superstitious, tried to rely on the prayers of Mentuhui to cure his wife. Guided by the female followers in the village, they hung the flag of a red cross on the wall, and chanted from the books of Mentuhui. Li Xiuju no longer took medicine but resorted to praying for the cure of her disease.
At first, Zhang still worked in the field or outside, and the couple only occasionally attended the activities organized by Mentuhui. Later, impacted by the idea that “promoting Mentuhui brings greater benefit”, Zhang quit his work and went on evangelizing trips. After two years, his wife’s heart disease was not alleviated but instead went from bad to worse. By then, Zhang was already obsessed with Mentuhui and unable to extricate himself from its trap. His wife was suspicious, yet she dared not go to hospital for fear of having a quarrel with her husband.
Grabbing the Medicines from Li Xiuju and Trampling Them on the Ground, Zhang Chuanjiang Caused the Sudden Death of His Wife
On Nov. 24, 2015 of the lunar calendar, when the villagers were preparing for the Spring Festival, Zhang’s wife felt breathless. She sneaked outdoors when her husband was praying and went to the village clinic to see the doctor. She bought several packages of pills and planned to hide them at home and take them when Zhang would not notice. Yet when she just went out of the clinic, her husband appeared, grabbed the pills from her hand and trampled them on the ground. He scolded her by saying, “I spare no effort praying for your health. How can you betray God and secretly take medicine? You want God to punish our family?” More and more villagers came to the spot and they saw his wife’s face turning pale and she was sweating all over. Suddenly, she covered her heart and fainted under a telegraph pole. People rushed to help her. After 20 minutes, the first-aid personnel arrived and confirmed that Zhang Chuanjiang’s wife had died of myocardial infarction.
Zhang put the dead body of his wife under the flag of Mentuhui and asked four other followers to pray for her resurrection. The praying lasted for four days.
As Li Xiuju died young, in accordance with the local customs, she should be buried, especially as Spring Festival was approaching. As the fellow villagers were busy preparing for the funeral, Zhang dismissed others by saying, “She is just possessed by evil spirits. As long as we pray sincerely, we can certainly drive off the evils and my wife will come to life again.” The villagers thought it ridiculous, yet they could not meddle with Zhang’s family affairs, so they left his home and no longer participated in the preparations for the funeral.
That day, Zhang invited four followers of Mentuhui from his village and neighboring villages. He asked other people to leave and the five of them began to prepare for their prayers. They first put the dead body on a brick bed under the flag of a red cross, wrapped the body up in the quilt and warmed up the brick bed. Though it was severe winter, the room was very warm. Then the farce of resurrection began.
Red Cross of Mentuhui
The followers brought out books of Mentuhui and covered their heads with a white towel, as they usually did when gathering together. They began to pray, “Lord, Savior, Mentuhui, please bless this women. Our gratitude for Mentuhui.” They kowtowed and prayed, and from time to time they would hit the dead body in the quilt with a book of Mentuhui to drive off the evils. In order to resurrect Li Xiuju, they prayed day and night without eating or drinking or sleeping, and encouraged each other.
After four days, the corps of Li Xiuju began to stink. As the New Year was coming, the villagers were wondering why there was no news of the funeral. Zhang’s elder brother and other family members could no longer stand by, so they pushed open Zhang Chuanyang’s door by force. They were shocked when they saw the five of them, who seemed exhausted and looked hopelessly on the dead body. Only Zhang was still praying, “God bless me. God bless me…” He was so preoccupied with driving off the evils that he ignored his angry brother. Later, one follower recalled that the five of them only ate one steamed bun a day and called it the “food of life.” They were exhausted by praying day and night. As the four other followers were all older, only Zhang himself could continue with the praying. Zhang’s brother flew into a rage, slapped his face and rushed out of the door. Everyone in the room was shocked. By then Zhang was possessed by the Devil of Mentuhui completely, and he kept praying, “God forgive me. God forgive me.”
Faced with the dead body of his wife and the accusations of his family and fellow villagers, Zhang Chuanjiang finally gave up the illusion of praying for resurrection. 10 years have passed, yet the farce is still infamous in the local community.