Purpose of this Website
Many individuals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living in other nations, including the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. Chinese language congregations are now found in several countries.
Many of these Chinese members remain where they have been working or studying, but many also return to China and do not know how to find the Church in their country and may not understand how they should comply with Chinese laws in relation to religious practice.
This website seeks to answer “Frequently Asked Questions” by PRC Church members outside China and by Church leaders who work around the world with those members. It gives needed basic information for PRC Chinese members returning to China, including whom to contact for information, attending Sunday Church meetings and encouragement to observe relevant Chinese laws. Also provided are links to online Church resources in simplified Chinese.
Over the years, the Church has built a strong relationship of trust with the People’s Republic of China by always respecting the important laws and traditions of that country. In order to observe Chinese laws and directions on religious activities, the Church is blocking access to this website so it cannot be viewed inside China.
Read the news release introducing this website.
Frequently Asked Questions by Church Leaders and PRC Chinese Members Outside China
- I am a PRC Chinese member living overseas, whom should I contact as I prepare to return to China?
Please contact our Church priesthood leader who assists local PRC members in China. We refer to him as China Administrative Unit (CAU) director. He lives in Beijing. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He will welcome you, answer your questions, provide times and places for Sunday meetings, and establish your Church membership in the right place.
- Can I attend Church on Sunday in China?
Yes. Local members meet on Sundays in various cities around China, led by local priesthood leaders, with local families and members of all ages, professions, and family situations.
- Will Sunday Church meetings in China be similar or different than the ward/branch I attend now?
In fundamental spirit, Church scriptures, doctrines, and the gospel friendship of the Latter-day Saints are the same everywhere. Around the world, including in China, meeting places may be larger or smaller, rented, and closer or farther to where members live. But Chinese members returning to China will find a warm spirit, close feelings one to another, and mutual support, service, and love.
- How can Church leaders help Chinese members as they prepare to return to China?
- Please let Chinese members returning to China know that they will find they have gospel family, friends, and acquaintances in China. Having much in common with other Chinese Church members will be a joy, comfort, and blessing.
- Who best answers questions asked by Chinese members living outside China?
- New Church members everywhere are happy about what they feel and have found. They naturally want to learn everything they can about the gospel and the Church. They welcome being able to read God’s scriptures, to explore LDS.org and other digital Church resources, and to attend Sunday meetings weekly with Church members. For some questions, you can ask the Church’s CAU director.
Frequently Asked Questions by PRC Chinese Members Outside China
- What are the basic tenets of the Church in China?
- A basic tenet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “obeying, honoring, and sustaining” the law. In more than 160 countries around the world including in the People’s Republic of China, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members seek to obey, honor, and sustain the law. Everywhere, we teach members to be good citizens and good parents.
- Do returning Chinese members meet with foreign Church members on Sundays in China? (For example, my foreign friend is also a Church member.)
- No. Presently, there are no Church meetings held jointly with both foreign expatriate passport holders and local PRC Chinese members.
- What is the status of the Church in China? Does the Chinese government know about the Church’s presence in China?
- The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China guarantees freedom of religious belief to its citizens. Religious practices, however, are subject to a variety of rules and regulations. It is important to understand these rules and regulations and how the Church works to follow them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not one of the five recognized religions in China. Overall, because members of our Church have worked to follow government regulations, the Church has a good reputation and is respected.
- I am a Chinese Church member living overseas. Can I introduce my family to attend Sunday meetings in China? Can my family be taught and be baptized?
- Family, within guidelines, may be able to attend Sunday meetings, be taught and baptized. Please contact the Church’s CAU Director for further information.
- Can my friends be taught and baptized in China?
- Not at present. Please contact the Church’s CAU Director for guidelines and further information.
- Are there any activities that I should pay attention to avoid?
- Please do not distribute any Church literature or other religious materials; please do not seek to attend Church meetings with foreign Church members, and please do not set up religious-based blogs, microblogs or other internet accounts, etc., that could be misunderstood as trying to promote the Church in China.
- Are there any restrictions for the Church or its members in China?
The Church follows established official guidelines for its establishment and the activities of its members in China. Within established guidelines, Church members are able to pursue personal individual belief and practice.
- Can a Church member receive a patriarchal blessing in China?
- When did Sunday meetings for local Church members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days begin in China?
After education or employment, Chinese baptized overseas returning to China have had Sunday meetings since 2004.
- Do Hong Kong or Taiwan members attend Church with foreign or local Chinese members in China?
Hong Kong or Taiwan Church members who live in China can attend local Church meetings. Hong Kong or Taiwan Church members who travel to China for business or tourist purposes should attend Church meetings with foreign members.
Frequently Asked Questions by Church Leaders
- How can Church leaders help new Chinese members when they first join the Church?
- New Church members everywhere need gospel friends, Church opportunities to serve and grow, and continued spiritual nourishment. New Chinese members appreciate opportunities to feel the faith and fellowship of Church members each Sunday at Church. They like to meet other Chinese Church members. Continuing to study and deepen testimony of the Book of Mormon is important.
- Can Church leaders/members outside China keep in touch with Chinese members baptized in their branch/ward after those Chinese members return to China? Email? QQ? Facebook? Letters?
Of course. It is natural for relationships among friends to continue. Friendships and associations with foreigners are not restricted in China, though Church meetings for foreign and local Church members are held separately in China, and local and foreign Church members do not meet together for Church. When a new Chinese member joins the Church, please include in their baptism record their home address in China, an email and QQ address, mobile number, and a family member or friend in China. This will help everyone keep in touch. Please do not send email or other messages to those who are not members of the Church or whom you do not know personally. Obey the rules of internet usage. For example, some social websites are not allowed to be used in China.
- Some Chinese members go for holiday or school break and afterward have not yet returned to Church, what can we do?
- This is natural when students and others are moving about all the time. Having a social or other point of contact set before the break can give everyone a fixed point and time to look forward to.
- Any suggestions for helping Chinese members outside of China who are busy in school feel part of our branch/ward, including where language or cultural differences may exist?
- Church leaders everywhere are considerate of student examination, study, and work circumstances when arranging Church activities and service opportunities. Church leaders also know different individuals enjoy different activities – social, athletic, gospel-living, hobbies, etc. Sharing food, holidays, and other special occasions enriches everyone.
- In countries outside China where many Chinese members live are multi-unit Church activities appropriate?
- Yes, in countries outside China where large numbers of Chinese members live, Church leaders can organize Institute classes, Young Single Adult conferences or devotionals, outings or activities around Chinese holidays (such as the lunar New Year), etc. With appropriate Church leader coordination, these activities can be organized on a ward/branch, stake or multi-stake, or even a country or area basis.
- What Church materials are currently available in Chinese?
- The Scriptures – Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price – are all available in Chinese. Church magazines and basic Church curriculum are available in Chinese. In areas outside China, video messages in Chinese are available at Mormon Messages and on the Mormon Channel on YouTube.
- Some Chinese members ask how to deepen their understanding of God and Jesus Christ?
- Everyone wants a happy and eternal family. In the quiet reflective moments -- a beautiful sunrise, a baby’s smile, a challenge such as death – we sense there is order and meaning in life beyond what we see. In those moments, God’s existence, life’s purpose and direction, etc., become clear. Humble reflection and contemplation deepen our love for God, and the love we feel from God. Studying, asking with real intent, and listening with an open heart can deepen faith, and our willingness and desire to follow the truth we feel.
- Some Chinese members are uncertain about what to expect if they return to China?
- Sometimes seeing once is better than hearing a hundred times. Invite Chinese members preparing to return home to find out as much as they can from the Church’s CAU director, local Chinese members, and others. This way returning Chinese members will know what to expect and not be fearful but at peace.
- Can we send the Liahona or Church magazines to Chinese members when they return to China?
- Church members only can take one copy of each Church magazine or Church material for personal use in China. To avoid any misunderstanding, please do not send Church magazines or Church materials by mail.
- How can Church leaders help Chinese members live gospel covenants, e.g., keep the Word of Wisdom?
- Please help new members prepare for their coming transitions. Please be understanding and kind, and follow good judgment as you counsel together.
Non-Chinese Members Visiting or Moving to China
- I am an expatriate (someone entering China on a foreign passport) visiting or moving to China. Whom should I contact about attending Church?
Please email email@example.com. Your email will be directed to an expatriate Church leader in Beijing who can provide Sunday Church times and places where expatriate Church members are permitted to meet. If you are an expatriate member moving to China, you will be directed to an expatriate priesthood leader for the area in which you plan to live. Please remember, in China, expatriate members and local Chinese members meet separately.
(Hong Kong or Taiwan Church members, please refer to “Do Hong Kong or Taiwan members attend Church with foreign or local Chinese members in China?”)