Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Coming to China? The Church is Here, Please Attend!

I am surprised over and over at how many Mormons come to China and even move here assuming that the Church just doesn't exist here. There are students here teaching English, for example, that came thinking that their only choice would be to pretty much ignore their faith while here since they thought the Church isn't present in China. Trust me, we are here! Lots of us. We have services and meetings and activities and a lot of fun. We even do home teaching and visiting teaching. There are two large congregations in Shanghai, one meeting each Sunday morning at 8:30 AM and the other at 10:30 AM. In the Shanghai District there are congregations in Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing, plus the two in Shanghai. There is a Shenzhen District and a Beijing District and other groups around China.

We have a healthy relationship with the government here and are allowed to meet and worship freely as long as our activities are elicited to foreign passport holders and we don't proselyte among the national Chinese. (They have their own congregations that we don't associate with.)

If you are coming to China, plan on participating with a congregation in your area, if possible, and if you are too far from a branch of the Church, you can still participate in the Beijing online broadcast of their services. But it's far better to be physically present with a congregation.

Parents and friends of students, teachers, or employees coming to China, make sure they know about the presence of the Church here. Make sure their membership records are transferred if they will be staying for a while. If you can't find contact information through Mormon.org or LDS.org, have them contact me and I'll try to help.

Travelers who will just be here for a Sunday or two should also know that we have great services and you ought to attend. It's an important part of the China experience and a great networking opportunity also. Plus a chance to renew your spirits. Some of the visits to LDS churches I've made when traveling have resulted in some of the most important connections and friendships in my life. So don't miss the opportunity. Come attend church with us in China!

8 comments:

namakemono said...

Maybe they don`t attend because they are told through official church channels that there is no church presence in China, and when we try to find through informal channels we often draw a blank too! Having lived there for a year, I KNEW the church was there but you wouldn`t believe the problems I had trying to find out if there was a branch in another city and how to contact someone there.

Anonymous said...

I remember this happening three decades ago when I worked in Saudi Arabia. We also couldn't proselyte to Saudi nationals or other Muslims. And we'd come across expats from many nations that were surprised to find branches of the church in operation there. A few of them were disappointed...

Mark Steele

Anonymous said...

I had the same situation. I had no idea where a branch was located, so for several months I missed out. I then just called the area authority's office in Hong Kong and spoke to a very nice secretary who sent me a map.

Anonymous said...

namakemono:

Does lds.org count as an official church channel? The "Find Places of Worship" page shows meetinghouses and branches in China.

namakemono said...

Thanks for the places of worship suggestion - I didn`t know about that. Is the information there only available in English?

Jack said...

Not only are their the meeting houses in China, but there is the Virtual Branch as alluded to in the post. It's not a broadcast of services from Beijing but a unique branch that is online.

For example, our Branch Presidency is in Xiamen, Zhengzhou, and Haiyang. Groups in a couple dozens cities in China call up to participate. Surprisingly, you can get a close relationship with members over the phone line and website.

Paula said...

I will be in Beijing on Aug 12th, 2014. I am traveling with my Aunt. We had intended to stay in the Philippines until Sept 29th but due to circumstances we would like to change our plans and stay in Beijing for that time period. We need information such as: can we rent an inexpensive apartment? Is there a share apt with other members of the church? Please advise. We will be there as tourists, will do some sightseeing and have no real itinerary. Would love to be involved in any church activities. Thanks, Paula pmihilas1@gmail.com or call 001 407 406 0363. Facebook message me - friend me:
Paula Mihilas

Anonymous said...

I would like to attend Shenzhen 1st Branch (English) but the church website only informs the address in English and shows location in Google map which does not work here in China. Taxi drivers don't understand English, they just speak Chinese. What is the address in Chinese? Would be helpful to find my way there...