December 12-18, 2011
More than 300 PCT pastors attend prayer rally for Taiwan
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma
More than 300 PCT pastors from across Taiwan donned their pastoral attire on the night of December 9, 2011, to attend a prayer rally for Taiwan on Ketagalan Boulevard sponsored by PCT General Assembly. Wearing raincoats and hats typically worn by farmers in Taiwan, pastors gathered to sing hymns and pray for Taiwan despite a rainy day.
At 4:00 p.m., PCT pastors from across Taiwan had begun to trickle into Taipei 228 Memorial Park. By 5:40 p.m., every pastor had a lighted candle in his hand and began following General Assembly Moderator Chiohh Lyiam Syian and General Secretary Andrew Chang in two processions toward Ketagalan Boulevard. On the way, they passed by many people waiting for the bus or riding scooters and though some people looked on curiously, others gave the pastors a thumbs-up sign.
The prayer meeting on that day revolved around 3 themes or segments, namely, “Past – Thanksgiving and Confession”, “Present – Entering into People’s Suffering”, and “Future – Loving the Country of Taiwan”. The whole meeting was emceed by PCT Indigenous Ministry Committee Secretary Omi Wilang, Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching, and Taiwan Church News General Editor Fang Lan-ting respectively.
During the first segment of the meeting, former PCT General Assembly Moderator Wang Nan-chieh gave a brief overview of the PCT’s public statement “Statement On Our National Fate” issued in 1971. His presentation was followed by a prayer of confession led by current PCT Vice-Moderator Pusin Tali to conclude this segment.
For the second segment, there were reflections based on a few key issues of concern such as the illegal Meiliwan Resort Hotel, the controversial Kuokuang Petrochemical plan to build a naphtha cracker, and the plight of indigenous peoples still living in permanent housing units following Typhoon Morakot. Following these reflections, Paiwan Presbytery Moderator Ripun led everyone in prayer.
Speaking on the trials of securing national sovereignty during the third segment, Taiwan Alliance Chairman Huang Kun-hui said that the reason the Ma administration had been so eager to push treaties such as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and a peace treaty with China is because it seeks to secure economic integration with China to pave the way for political integration.
Huang pointed to the banning of displays of Taiwanese flags during ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin’s visit to Taiwan, Taiwan’s participation in the WHO as a “Province of China”, and the emphasis over the non-existing “1992 Consensus” as merely a few examples of questionable behavior on the part of the President.
“We believe that You are a God who hears prayers. Our national leader’s behavior, our environment, and the relationship between ethnic groups in Taiwan are all in critical condition. We bring before you our suffering and plead for You to save us and save Taiwan!” Church and Society Committee Chairman Avai Niahosa prayed aloud.
Following this prayer, General Secretary Chang gave a sermon on “Loving Taiwan and Spreading the Gospel of Christ.” After the sermon, more than 800 PCT pastors and members joined in the recitation of the “PCT Confession of Faith”. Children and youths were also present at this meeting and some were invited on stage to share about their future hopes for Taiwan.
The meeting concluded with the singing of “Taiwan the Formosa” and the placing of lighted candles in the shape of the island as well as a final prayer by Moderator Chiohh.