Shanghaiist has often wondered what China would look like if it had complete religious freedom, as in the freedom to organise and set up religious denominations and associations outside of the five “official religions”, and to have all these religious groups enter the free-wheeling marketplace with their books, CDs, video programmes and what not. This weekend, we caught a glimpse of that when a woman claiming to be “Jesus’ sister” was arrested in the Guangdong province. She charges upwards of RMB100,000 to “heal” each cancer patient and owns three fancy villas.
Interesting excerpt of an article in Southern Metropolis Daily translated by EastSouthWestNorth here:
“100,000 yuan to cure cancer. As quickly as ten days but no longer than twenty days. If you have faith, you shall be saved.” A fifty-ish illiterate rural woman who has never attended school for a single day in her life is known as the “Little Goddess.” She claimed to be the sister of Jesus and was sent by “God” to “heal people from diseases.” The healing method is to ask God to bless mineral water and drink it according to schedule. Each cancer patient is charged 100,000 yuan.
On October 12, the police received complaints from citizens. After almost one month of investigation, the police took action on November 10 and arrested the self-proclaimed sister of Jesus named Zhou at a private villa on Taiping Street in Minzhong town, Zhongshan city, Guangdong province.
From the investigation, it was discovered that Zhou owns three villas and a building. One of the villas occupies three mu of land with more than 2,100 square meters of living space. Over the years, she collected several million yuan from superstitious believers. So far, several dozens of people are known to be victims.
“Little Goddess” is a Minzhong town resident named Zhou in Zhongshan city. She claimed to be the sister of Jesus and she could heal cancer within twenty days. The patient brings several bottles of mineral water to “Little Goddess” who asks God to put sacred medicine into the mineral water. When the patient drinks the water, he (she) will be cured. The patient pays 100,000 yuan or even as much as 200,000 yuan. Many victims were unable to produce the sum immediately, but they were allowed to pay by installments.
On November 10, a “sacred” rite was being held inside a private villa on Taiping street in Minzhong town. In the hall of the villa, “Little Goddess” sat underneath a cross hung on the wall. A tablet with the words “The Greatest Miracle Doctor Underneath The Heavens” hung on the wall by the side. Several “believers” knelt before her and kowtowed. In front of them were the bottles of mineral bottle that these believers brought with them. After they put the money into the mooncake box on the table, “Little Goddess” turned the mineral water into holy water that could cure every possible disease. But before the rite could be completed, the Zhongshan police charged into the villa and arrested “Little Goddess” Zhou. According to one of the arresting police officers, a family of four at the scene begged the police to let Zhou go, because she was a good person.
Photo from Southern Metropolis Daily via EastSouthWestNorth