I have figured out how to deal with evangelical Koreans…

Korea, for some reason or another, has a tremendous number of various sorts of evangelical Christians.  There are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses galore, as well as your standard run-of-the-mill crazy Southern Baptist you-will-burn-in-hell-for-dancing type evangelicals.  And man, they are really evangelical.  Very persistent, and very bold in stating their beliefs.  In class the other day, we were talking about Tibet, and I mentioned that I have met the Dalai Lama (I have, no lie), and one of the students blurted out “Some day I want to meet him and tell him that he needs to find God or he and all his people will burn in hell.”.  Those are her verbatim words.  I honestly didn’t know how to respond to such a thing being said in an academic setting, and so I just nervously changed the subject.

However, I digress.

I mentioned the high number (and high tenacity) of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses at the beginning, and that’s really what this (originally supposed to be humorous) post is about.  I get approached at LEAST 2-3 times a week by one or more of them (they often travel as families, and they all speak excellent English), and I have begun to find it downright irritating.

But recently, I have discovered a really hilarious way to deal with it.

They almost all start off by saying something akin to “Do you have a moment?  I’d like to tell you about my faith.” before they start off on trying to hook you or push their literature into your (generally unwilling) hands.  Well, I have begun to have a bit of fun with this.  After that first question/statement, they generally ask “Are you a Christian?”.  I have begun to answer this with “Well, I’m a Quaker.”  when they ask said question.  They almost invariably reply with “What is a Quaker?”, to which I reply…

“Well, do you have a moment?  I’ll tell you about it…”

The look of panic on their faces when they realize their own tables have been turned on them is priceless, and they almost always begin to stutter and then eventually leave.  Yay for beating them at their own game.  It has become quite entertaining, actually.

originally posted at Waygook Next Door
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5 Responses to “I have figured out how to deal with evangelical Koreans…”


  1. 1 QuakerDave August 20, 2008 at 3:13 am

    It works nicely on those sweet Jehovah’s Witnesses, too, as well as the Mormons who come to my door a few times a year while they’re on their “missions.”

    The JWs always stay and talk, actually, and we’ve had some nice conversations.

    The Mormons, as a group, can’t get away from my door fast enough.

  2. 2 Suzy August 20, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Hi! I’m sure you must have talked about this in an earlier post, but why are you in Korea?

  3. 3 Driftingfocus August 20, 2008 at 8:26 am

    @QuakerDave: Man, I *wish* it was only a few times a year. I get a knock on my door about once a week, and I get approached when I’m out in public another 2-3 times a week. If I’m in a city and not out in the sticks of Jindo, it can be as much as once a day.

    I had an interesting conversation with a family of Mormons once, as I teach their two kids, but when they steered things back toward their literature, I was suddenly “late for a meeting”. Generally, though, my tactic mentioned above works wonders.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who does this!

    @Suzy: Actually, I haven’t. I have a whole separate blog for it! You can see my blog listing here, including my Korea blog: https://innerquiet.wordpress.com/who-am-i/ I’m here teaching English.

  4. 4 Mathman6293 September 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    That is a great response. Here in rural Northwest Georgia, there are not many Jews. On our first weekend here one of the local Baptists stopped by. I told him we were Jewish and he said thats OK you can come to church anyway. Really? Of course it is OK!.

    Anyway about a week later his drunk brother-in-law deposited his truck in my driveway in the middle of the night. I thought that was sort of funny.

  5. 5 Driftingfocus September 2, 2008 at 1:09 am

    That’s pretty hilarious.


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