My mother is 49 years old this year. My home is located in Ma’anshan Village, Shiqiao Township, Jin’an District, Liu’an City, Anhui Province. I used to have a happy and warm family. My father is an excellent carpenter and my mother is a hard-working housewife. She accompanied me for three years when I studied in Maotanchang Middle School. I gained access to a university three years later and chose to work in Hangzhou after my graduation. But after my mother became obsessed with “The Church of Almighty God”, I lost a happy and peaceful family life. My mother used to be capable and virtuous, and my father worked as a carpenter outside the village and came back home every weekend. My mother handled every domestic thing well. We enjoyed the harvest every year. She often sold our own vegetables, chickens and ducks at the fair to save money for my education and support the family. Later I was admitted to college as I had hoped. My family wasn’t wealthy, but we enjoyed a harmonious and happy life.
However, a tragedy gradually approached us and shattered the peace of this family. On one day of March, 2014, my mother happened to meet a woman aged over 50. Because I had left home to study at university and my father went out to earn money as a carpenter, my mother felt lonely at home and frequently walked around the fair. The woman walked over and greeted my mother. She preached about the Church of Almighty God in the presence of my mother and claimed that doomsday was around the corner. Only by joining the Church of Almighty God could people protect themselves and their families against any disasters. As my mother was poorly educated, she started to believe the woman’s words about the impending doomsday. At the moment of departure, the woman gave her one book Comments on Physical Incarnation and some materials related to the Church of Almighty God. She wanted my mother to learn them back at home. When my mother could spare time every day, she read these books and materials and gradually got deceived by the fallacies of this cult. She joined the Church of Almighty God. To show her loyalty to the “God”, my mother took the first step, that is, abandoning affection. After becoming a devoted believer of the Church of Almighty God, she was no longer a hardworking mother who could prepare meals on time and finish all the field work. She cared nothing about our family. She visited every household in the village to preach the so-called “gospel” in the daytime and read and listened to the hymns at night. But she became indifferent to the family members.
From then on, she became a different person. She took part in all the meetings with other practitioners and preached the “gospel” in the villages. She paid no attention to housework or fieldwork, and cared nothing about my father and me. Every time I called her, she didn’t answer my call or kept the phone off. My father and I tried to persuade her not to believe in the cult many times. We said it’s nothing but superstition from the feudal period, but my mother turned a deaf ear to our words. She stubbornly continued her wrong belief. During one weekend at the end of the year, I called my mother and found her out of contact. She didn’t come back home until late at night. She was found absent-minded and expressionless. Silent, she acted as if she were a stranger. My father finally burst into a rage. He criticized my mother for her obsession with the cult while no heed was paid to proper business. She ruined herself and cared nothing about household things. My mother quarreled with my father and said loudly that her belief could guarantee the peace of our whole family. I walked over to my mother and pleaded with her not to be cheated by these fallacies, but she remained unmoved and turned around and walked into the house. She sat down and started her “prayer” again. The next day, my mother still insisted on her “mission” and my father and I could do nothing to stop her. Later my mother whent to meetings and preached more frequently. Sometimes she remained outside for a number of days and we had no idea about her whereabouts. We were very worried about her for fear that she might leave forever.
The thing that we least wanted to see happened at last. One day in January 2016, my mother left home with all the family savings to become a devoted follower of the cult. My father and I looked for her everywhere. We visited every place where my mother might have been found and entrusted our relatives to search for her. But we got no news about her whatsoever. To find her, my father ceased to work outside as a carpenter and I quit my job in Hangzhou to look for my mother in our hometown. We reported the case to the police station in the town. We went to look for her with all our relatives, local or non-local. We even prepared for the worst result. Her DNA sample was extracted from things around the house that she had used. Whenever we heard of an unidentified corpse, we would rush right away to make comparison. After half a year, we never ceased our efforts to search for her, but there was no news about her. For the last two years, I have regretted not trying hard to prevent her from believing in “God” and hated the cult for cheating my mother and ruining my happy family.
My dear mother, where are you? I hope you can come back home soon!
On October 11, 2016, after my mother had been away from home for ten months and my father and I were anxious and helpless, the policeman visited my home and told us that my mother had been detained after she was engaged in the crime of preaching a cult and reported to the police by other people. My father and I finally felt relieved at the news. I hope that my mother can confess to the harms of the Church of Almighty God as a cult and break away from them. We are waiting for her at home.
(Executive editor: Xin Mu)