Shenzhen's largest Christian and Catholic churches are expected to provide English services in the near future, according to Li Jianping, director-general of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Religious Affairs.
The two churches are the Christian Shenzhen Church on Meilin Road and St. Anthony's Church on Nonglin Road in Futian District.
"With more and more expatriates investing, working, studying and living in Shenzhen, in cooperation with the two key churches, we're considering the possibility of introducing English worship services on Sundays for expatriates," Li said.
At present, the three sides are looking for suitable applicants who have not only a good mastery of English and a solid belief but are also familiar with the State religious policies, Li said. Shenzhen has now opened seven churches or legal meeting places for Catholics and 19 for Christians.
Indian Felix Fernandes, a 33-year-old Catholic, moved to Shenzhen one and a half years ago and is now running a computer parts trading company in Futian District.
"My business has enabled me to travel many places such as Thailand, South Korea, Chinese Taiwan and Hong Kong, and whenever I went to a new place, I would go to the local churches to have masses," Fernandes said during a celebration of this year's Easter in the St. Anthony's Church on Saturday.
He said he frequented the St. Anthony's Church as well as the Nantou Catholic Church on Sundays after he settled down in the city.
"Except languages, I haven't found any differences between the churches here and the ones in other countries," he said.
"I don't speak Chinese, but I always bring my English Bible with me," he said. "Through my Chinese interpreter, I'm trying to communicate with people here."
(Shenzhen Daily April 12, 2004)