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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended January 05, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 05Jan01

By Kent Larsen

Hong Kong Gives Mormons, Others Foot In China's Door

HONG KONG, CHINA -- An AP article today looks at Western religions in Hong Kong and how they are using the city as an entre into mainland China. The LDS Church, one of several religions mentioned, is taking a law-abiding approach, says the article, waiting for mainland China to allow services and proselyting.

Currently, according to the LDS Church's Cree-L Kofford, President of the Asia Area, China permits the Church to hold some services in mainland China for foreigners, but not for native Chinese, even if they have already converted to the LDS Church elsewhere. "The Chinese government doesn't want us to," Kofford said. "One of our tenets is we obey the law of the land. We hope obviously they would see fit to invite us into China." The other religions mentioned in the article, including the Catholics and some protestant churches, aren't respecting the Chinese government's wishes.

But Kofford says Hong Kong is the ideal location for the Asia headquarters. "There is open religious freedom," said Kofford, the church's Asia president. "We are allowed to proselytize and we do that in Hong Kong. We're building a lot of buildings here and growing here." In fact, the AP article reports that the Church owns 20 buildings in Hong Kong, one of the world's most expensive real estate markets. In spite of the cost, the Church is expanding its real estate there, building a new 25-story skyscraper near the Hong Kong district of Wanchai.


Religion in the News
New York Times (AP) 5Jan01 N1
By Dirk Beveridge: Associated Press
[Submitted by M. Oates]

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