Talking about removing shoes before going into church, John Eliott, my host told me an amusing story.
There was a guy who was part of a minor criminal gang in Japan. The boss of this gang needed a new pair of shoes and he ordered him to go and steal him some shoes.
The man decided that the easiest way to steal shoes would be to take them from the entrance of some sort of public building. He happened to pick a Christian church, but before he could steal a pair of shoes, a lady at the church welcomed him and beckoned him in. He could do little but go and attend the service. The man became a Christian as a result.