The Church in China

We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are four congregations (branches) in Beijing. Three are English-speaking for non-Chinese. One of these is out by the embassy and rotates through different members homes for meeting (at least that’s what I’ve heard). There are two more English-speaking branches that meet in an office building downtown. We meet there. There is one Chinese-speaking branch that is only for Chinese natives. We can’t interact with them. I’ve heard that we aren’t even allowed to be in the building at the same time. During the summer, the two branches that meet in the building are combined since there are so many families that return to the States (or their home countries) over the summer and because there is a pretty high turnover rate for the branch members.

Each Sunday at the start of Sacrament meeting a letter is read regarding missionary work in China. There are no missionaries here. We are allowed to talk about the church with non-Chinese. For instance, B has a lot of colleagues that are from other countries, as long as they don’t hold a Chinese passport, we could invite them to church or talk about the gospel with them. However, his co-workers who are Chinese, we aren’t allowed to talk about the church with at all. This has already become awkward because B has Chinese colleagues who have lived in the United States, have known Mormons and see that we have a big family so make the same assumptions that Americans make. He’s had one colleague ask him if he’s spent time in Utah and another colleague specifically ask if he’s Mormon and say that he’s had Mormon friends in the States. There are however senior couples here as humanitarian aid workers. And we have higher up leadership (a member of the Seventy that is our area president was at church on Sunday and spoke with us).

You can read about it more here: http://www.mormonsandchina.org/

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