Thursday, October 8, 2009

They're Crawling Out of the Woodworks!

Yesterday after work I decided to go to E-Mart, which is located at the same subway stop as where I live except I normally take exit 5, but E-Mart is exit 7 (across the street). As soon as I was at the top of the stairs, a woman asked me if I spoke English and if I would fill out a survey. I didn't want to be rude, so I filled out the survey, even though it was a bit deep for me. She stood over me watching me answer the questions and I felt like I had to give certain answers even though the survey was about my personal religious beliefs. Then the lady asked me to listen to her talk about the bible and I hadn't thought of a story to tell her so I listened to her talk. I listened to her talk about how God is not the father, but instead the mother. Her church, the Church of God, sounded awfully feminist from the way this woman was talking. She wanted me to walk with her to her church and watch a video but I told her that I was very busy and she said that she would call me later. Luckily, I did not give her my new phone number, but rather my old phone number. That was the fourth time in two weeks that I had been approached by religious zealots.

A week before, a lady inside the subway station near where I work was handing out a newsletter in Korean and packages of tissues from her church, which was located at that subway station. The package of tissues had directions as to how to get to the church and the times for their services. After work, I was solicited by a group of Jehovah's Witnesses standing outside of E-Mart. They were handing out booklets about problems within families.

The Thursday before I was solicited by these other groups, I was walking home from other store and a young man who was Jehovah's Witness started talking to me. I kept walking, but since I did not ignore him when he was talking to me, he was walking with me and gave me one of the pamphlets that they give when they are looking for new members.

These were not the only times that I have been solicited to join a church here, but the other times were spread out. Because I live in a big city here, I've had more experience with religious zealots here than I had in America. All these people who have given me information or had a conversation with me about their religion were Koreans. Most of them assume that I speak English, but a couple of them have asked. Sometimes I feel tempted to pretend that I don't speak English. I once told my South African friend that he should pretend that he does not understand English and then start speaking Afrikaans.

One time, I was waiting for the subway to come and when it did, there was a Mormon missionary sitting in the train and he saw me and waved. Since I didn't want to appear rude, I waved back. Then, when I got on the train, I went to the other end of the train car to sit because I didn't want to sit by him. That is the most communication that I have had with any foreign missionaries. The other times that I have seen Mormons, either they chose to not talk to me or I made sure that they did not see me.