I am not a Christian, and have never been one. But there were times in my childhood when my family and I visited a Chinese-American Christian Church upon the request of a friend (usually my mother's). I was so young that I couldn't remember the denomination, and if it were printed out, I probably couldn't read it. But basically, the first thing was a liturgical service, but I almost never attended that and instead went to the basement, where the children's classroom was. After the liturgy, an evening meal was served. It was always a bowl of bland white rice and hot tea. No meat, no vegetables. This is not your typical Chinese dinner, which always serves meat and vegetables. There was one time in my memory when they served juice (that ran out when I thought I could go up for seconds), but most of the time, it was only bland and soft white rice and hot tea.

Is serving white rice and hot tea after a liturgical service common practice in Chinese-American Christianity? If so, what is the justification? If not, then it may indicate that it's a practice within that church.

1 Answer 1


I'm Chinese and am a Christian and I've attended many different churches and have not encountered what you described. I fairly convinced that the meal was more related to Chinese cultural practice and there isn't any theological significance that that particular meal.

Chinese children have traditionally been weaned on rice gruel (also called rice porridge, konji, congee, jook or chook), and it is to be a breakfast dish for adults. It is also served to invalids. It can be served with nothing else added to it except perhaps some soy sauce. Sometimes chicken stock or other flavouring is added. This is therefore just part of Chinese cultural practice.


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