The church's stance is quite clear: that local laws are to be obeyed, period.
That was emphasized again today by Elder Nelson's talk. I think I know what
country you're referring to, but if I'm right about it, I believe you *were*
allowed to hold services in small groups in members homes, and you weren't
allowed to advertise -- the government is very sensitive about the existence of
US ex-pats, especially military forces, there.  But there's still an stake there,
with wards that are run as a collection of "groups" (those members who meet
together) -- but you'll never see it on public Church records (you won't see it
on my LDS Atlas online, either, but I know where it is because twice now my wife
and I almost moved there -- I was offered jobs there on two occasions). In fact,
I believe it was Pres. Packer who organized the stake and helped negotiate the
rules under which members can operate there.

In some cases the Church is allowed to meet, but only ex-pats may attend. This is
the case in China where there are now some 6-8 branches (but again, I don't show
anything outside of Hong Kong on my atlas, which is public). The Church has fewer
restrictions in Jordan and Turkey -- I know of one Turkish member who joined in
Istanbul and attends the branch there (how I got to know him is a long story, but
I sent him a book; he's fluent in English but they obviously don't have a lot of
Church books there). And I've heard 2nd hand that the branch in Jordan is fully
legal, although it's primarily ex-pats who attend.

It's actually legal in Oman for the Church to own property so I'd look there for
the first opening up of missionary work, although that may be some time off yet.
Hard to say. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan have large Christian
minorities who have been there for many centuries but so far the only place I
know of where there has been any mission work is Lebanon, which was administered
from the Greece Athens Mission (as is the Cairo Branch, 2 branches in Cyprus, the
Jordan branch and the Turkish branches. I don't know who administers the Israel
district, which used to consist of 3 branches but is down to 2 now). But the
civil war in the 70s put an end to missionary work for the time being.


> Rose Bowlen:
> ... do we believe in the obeying the law no matter what? I
> presume most would have a place to draw the line but
> where is the line?
> _______________
> I was in a country where it was against the law to hold
> Church services.  We held them anyway in secret.  (It is
> not legal, under certain restrictions, to for the Church to
> hold services in that country.)
> On the other hand, I recall a time in the Book of Mormon
> where the people were not allowed to pray, so their leaders
> told them to pray in their hearts secretly, until the time came
> that they were free again.
> Larry Jackson

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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