Chapter 6 studies two largest Fuzhounese in Chinatown, – the Church of Grace to the Fujianese and the New York House Church. Both of these congregations exclusively serve the Fuzhounese immigrant community within the Chinese ethnic enclave of Chinatown. From this chapter, it is apparent that language proves to be a significant barrier with the Fuzhounese constituency. In Ling Liang Church, a group of Fuzhounese immigrants formed the Fujian Agape Fellowship, which shared space with the main congregation of Cantonese speaking people, but mostly remained separate, due to the exclusive use of the Fuzhounese dialect in the gatherings.
Not does language prevent the various communities of Chinatown to congregate, it proves to be an obstacle as these groups strive to flourish and be recognized within the legalities of the government. A lack of English fluency or literacy within the increasing Fuzhounese immigrant community proves to be a continuing setback as they struggle to plow through the tedious process of registering a religious institution, as well as getting the permission to legally operate.
The Fuzhounese community’s adaptation to comply with government regulations has led to a disparity between the Christian rituals in America and China. One aspect in conflict is the question of the frequency of having communion. Back in the homeland, communion occurs on a weekly basis, but the long and demanding working hours in New York leads to a hectic schedule, leading to a decrease in attendance for the communion. Thus, congressional members have considered having communion occur on a monthly basis instead.
The hardships of maintaining religious traditions gives an outcome opposite of what the Fuzhounese immigrant community desires, for it makes the congregation less appealing to join for clerical leaders. The struggle to be an official institution to draw in religious leaders that are lacked is only backfired by its failure to be continuous in belief and practice from China to the United States.
Overall, language imprisons immigrant communities from actual coexistence and cooperation. Chapter 6 displays the hardship that arises within an ethnic enclave of communities that are separate and unwilling to budge in one’s culture because of the limitations language provides. The perception on Chinatown is very deceptive, for they people actually are not one, but are divided by dialect. An effort to learn and use other dialects or languages would make practicing religion in Chinatown less of an issue.