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Taiwan Church News

3392 Edition

February 27 - March 5, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Happy New Wheel 2017 For The Disabled

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

For the disabled, the wheel chair is actually a part of their bodies. Perhaps, due to not knowing how to clean up the wheel chair or being restrained by their own body conditions, doing a basic wheel cleaning by themselves is always beyond the reach of the disabled.

On February 23, an activity entitled as "Happy New Wheel 2017 - an easy cleaning & maintenance of wheelchair" is held at Welfare Service Center for the Disabled in Pingtung County.

Several technicians of Wei-chen Assistive Devices and Medical Material Company offers a technological maintenance of wheel chair at site; Pingtung county's Assistive Devices Resources Center supplies some wheel chairs and spare parts; six draftees of Pingtung Branch of Administrative Enforcement Agency also come to support this event.

During the cleaning and maintenance activities of 22 wheel chairs from the disabled, many people cannot help but cry out to find there are so many hairs are stuck around the wheels, and more surprisingly their wheel chairs can be cleaned up, repaired and restored back just like a new one!

In order to help the disabled and make our people to care each other more, representative of Pingtung's Welfare Service Center for the Disabled expects such charity activities, organizing different local agencies and resources, will carry on annually in the future.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

In a event called Happy New Wheel 2017, held at Welfare Service Center for the Disabled in Pingtung County on February 23, wheel chairs of the disabled can be cleaned up, repaired and restored back just like a new one!

Photo by Welfare Service Center for the Disabled in Pingtung County

 
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Taiwan Church News

3392 Edition

February 27 - March 5, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Commemorations Of The 70th Anniversary Of 228 Massacre Event Across Taiwan

 

Reported by TCN Staff Reporters

 

A communion service, entitled as "Compassion and justice - remembering the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event", jointly held by Taiwan Catholic Church and PCT at Chi-nan Presbyterian Church in the morning on 28 February 2017. Vice President, Mr Chen Chien-jen, was specially invited to attend this communion service and kindle the candle light to symbolize God's compassion and justice had arrived within Taiwan society.

Father Anselm Grün, a famous author of spirituality, delivered his sermon, entitled as " A compassionate and just social healing and transformation", stressing the church should play a role of compassionate guardian, but not a violent fighter, to check and monitor the government. In the meantime, the church should develop a language of reconciliation to care for the sufferings in history.

Photo by Kang Hong-chi

 

To mark the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event, a commemorative service was jointly held by the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery and Taichung Just Action Church at Taichung Municipal Park on February 26. Many 228 massacre victims' family members, including Dr Kenneth Wang(the eldest son of the murdered young prosecutor Wang Yu-ling), Mrs Yang Bih(daughter of social activist and writer Yang Kui) and many others, were invited to attend this commemorative service.

In the Hsinchu city, a musical concert remembering 228 massacre event was held in the auditorium of Culture Bureau of Hsinchu City Government on the same date. Over 700 people attended this musical concert in the name of love and reconciliation.

Photo by Simon Lin

 

A commemorative service of the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event at Kaohsiung area, organized by both So-san and Kaohsiung Presbytery, was held at Liou-ho Presbyterian Church in the afternoon on February 26. Quoting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's heartfelt atonement, "The German people have an eternal responsibility for the crimes of the Nazis", Elder Tu Seh-wen, whose father(Tu Kwang-ming) recommended as a peace negotiator in Kaohsiung City government during 228 massacre was brutally murdered by KMT troops yet where his body was buried is still unknown up to date, stressed that the purpose of transitional justice is not seeking revenge but a responsible task of to figure out the truth in history!

In the meantime, a commemorative musical concert, entitled as "Love and Pardon" and organized by PCT Presbyteries of Ping-tung, Paiwan, Rukai and Pingtung County Government, was held in the Pingtung Performing Arts Center. Families of 228 massacre victims were invited to attend this musical concert and accept Pingtung County Magistrate Mr Pan Men-an's salutes.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 

The premiere of 27 Brigade, an epic documentary describing how the Taiwanese people engaged in military fighting against KMT troops in central Taiwan from March 3 to March 16 in 1947, was held at National Taichung University of Education on February 25. Mr Lin Chia-lung, Taichung City Mayor, and two major leaders of 27 Brigade, Mr Chung Yi-ren and Mr Hwang Chin-dau, both now in their age over 90 years old, were specially invited to attend this special premiere to witness the 228 massacre event.

Photo by Simon Lin

 

Elder Hwang Chao-kai, member of Ming-chu-lu Presbyterian Church of Tainan Presbytery, and Rev Lin Chon-zeng, pastor of Song-an Presbyterian Church of Chi-sin presbytery, were invited by Department of Taiwanese Literature of National Cheng Kung University to deliver their thoughts on a seminar entitled as "Oblivion and gaze on the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event" on February 28. Elder Hwang reminded the audience the vindication of 228 victims' criminal charges and sufferings has not even started. "What we should keep inquiring is this question: why there are so many victims, while there is not even a perpetrator is found, tried or convicted?", Elder Hwang challenged the audience.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 

After a journey of visiting major sites of 228 massacre event at Taipei city, and through a visual and musical  review on 228 massacre event by the history professor Cha Hsin of Taipei University, many college students of PCT's Taipei Student Center assembled at the last stop with candles praying the Spirit of justice and peace could descend and remain on Taiwan now and forever.

Photo by PCT Taipei Student Center

 

President Tsai Ing-wen gave a warm hug to Mr Lin Yi-hsiung, the former DDP chairman who lost his twin little girls and her mother in a heinous political assassination on 28 February 1980, after the service for the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event held at Yi-Kwang Presbyterian Church at Taipei on 28 February 2017.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3392 Edition

February 27 - March 5, 2017

Headline News

 

Historical Truth Of 228 Massacre Wanted!  A Parade Held For The 70th Anniversary Of 228 Massacre Event

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

A significant parade, organized by Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation, Memorial Foundation of 228, Taiwan Association for Human Rights(TAHR), Tsai Jui-yueh Cultural Foundation, PCT and dozens of civil groups, commemorative of the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event was launched in Taipei city at 1:30 p.m. on February 27.

Names of the 228 massacre victims were read out aloud one by one in a religious chant en route via many historical sites, reminiscent of 228 massacre and killings, including Tianma Tea House, Taipei Branch Office of Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau, Taipei Hoso Kyokai, and Taiwan Provincial Governor's Office(Now Executive Yuan).

Mr Cheng Chin-hua, younger brother of Nylon Cheng - the self-immolated martyr for Taiwan independence and freedom of speech, stressed that this parade was not a common activity but an action! Through this commemorative parade for the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event, Cheng Chin-hua hoped that not only the endeavor to find the historical truth of 228 massacre be established as a top-priority agenda in Taiwan society, but also the legislature of the Transitional Justice Promotion Act could be sped up to pass the congressional session before July.

The parade of the 70th anniversary of 228 event at Taipei reminded Taiwan society a series of pioneering demonstrations, initiated 30 years ago at Tainan on 15 February 1987 and hence held northbound across the island, urging Taiwan government and the people not to forget this heinous massacre. In fact, the door of transitional justice of 228 massacre was formally opened after this 1987 demonstration chanting Taiwan government the truth of 228 event should not be forbidden to talk or search any more.

To pledge a persistent pursuit of justice, most of the protagonists, including Dr Chen Yong-sin (President of TAHR), Lawyer Lee Seng-hsiung, Rev Lin Chon-zeng, and many others, of the history-breaking 1987 demonstration came back to participate the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event held in Taipei City.

During an interview at the site of Taiwan Provincial Governor's Office(now Executive Yuan), Dr Chen Yong-sin retrieved, when his security was threatened by the authoritarian KMT regime and his body was even harshly beaten by the riot police in 1987 demonstrations for 228 events, the image of Jesus' determined entrance into Jerusalem in spite of his awareness of an imminent sacrifice on the cross kept inspiring him and let him overcome his fear. Lawyer Lee Seng-hsiung expressed that, only when A Declaration on Human Rights by PCT (1977) could be faithfully followed in Taiwan society, the transitional justice could be implemented and the past political wrongs could be rectified!

Comforted by a poem read out by the poet Lee Ming-yong, the participants of this 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event received a final blessing from Rev Lin Chon-zeng in the song of "Rosy Periwinkle"(meaning Forever Spring), written by an aboriginal accordion musician Kao I-sen who was also a white-terror victim, expecting this 228 massacre event would transform Taiwan society into an epoch of forever spring.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

To pledge a persistent pursuit of justice and an urgent want of historical truth of 228 massacre, most of the protagonists, including Dr Chen Yong-sin (President of TAHR, third from right), Lawyer Lee Seng-hsiung(second from right), Rev Lin Chon-zeng(fourth from right), and many others, of the history-breaking 1987 demonstration came back to participate the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre event held in Taipei City on 27 February 2017.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3391 Edition

February 20 - 26, 2017

Headline News

 

PCT Urges Taiwan Government To Speed Up Transitional Justice And Cast A New Constitution

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 228 massacre event, an official PCT pastoral letter, urging Taiwan's new government to carry on investigating the truth of 228 massacre, speeding up transitional justice, and casting a new constitution, was delivered in a press conference at the Legislative Yuan on February 21.

Resolved by the Central Committee of the 61st Round of PCT General Assembly, this PCT pastoral letter is deliberately drafted by a special working group, including Rev Sudu Tada(Moderator of PCT General Assembly), Rev Lyim Hong-tiong(PCT General Secretary), Rev Chen Ming-chih(Vice Moderator), Rev Hsuei Bor-zang(Secretary of General Assembly), Rev Chang Sien-jueh(Deputy Secretary of General Assembly), Elder Hwang Bor-tong(Accountant of General Assembly), and Rev Zeng Kuo-chong(Director of PCT Church and Society Committee).

Following PCT's prophetic participation in Taiwan's democratic reformation since 1970s, two 228 massacre pastoral letters released in 1989 and 1990 respectively, and annual commemorative service since then, this PCT pastoral letter marking the 70th anniversary of 228 event is expected to prompt Tsai Ing-wen administration to listen to the true voices of the Taiwanese people and speed up the transitional justice via demonstrating the government's determination in policies and the related proceedings, Rev Sudu Tada sincerely hopes.

In the press conference, Rev Lyim Hong-tiong represents PCT to read the pastoral letter. He says, based on PCT's confession of faith as "[The church] is both universal and rooted in this land, identifying with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering becoming the sign of hope", PCT urges Taiwan government to comply with three requests from Taiwan society: no more set up statue or stone of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo for Taiwanese people to worship or eulogize; a truth and reconciliation commission for 228 massacre should be established to pursue after those responsible executioners and comfort the victims and their suffered families; Taiwan government should draw up a new constitution as soon as possible to make Taiwan become a new and independent country!

Rev Zeng Kuo-chong predicts in a straight talk that Taiwan cannot be a just and peaceful country if the engineering of transitional justice could not kick off to reach its ultimate goal. Regarding the 228 massacre, Rev Zeng encourages President Tsai Ing-wen be strong and very courageous enough to find out the truth and keep pursuing after those who were responsible.

Because these executioners, especially the master-mind dictators of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo, are still eulogized and showcased at Taiwan's public space, Rev Zeng laments, adding that "they are the true evil spirits haunting in Taiwan society and obstructing Taiwan from marching forward to a just and peaceful country."

These authoritarian totems are the bleeding wounds in the heart of the Taiwanese, Rev Zeng remarks, they have to be get rid of as soon as possible to heal the soul of Taiwan. PCT pledges to act her role of reconciliation reminding Tsai Ing-wen administration to fulfill her campaign promise on transitional justice and monitoring if her Taiwan policy is based on a self-awareness as an independent country, Rev Zeng concludes.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

PCT urges Taiwan government to speed up transitional justice and cast a new Taiwan constitution in a press conference held in Taiwan Congress on 21 February 2017.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3391 Edition

February 20 - 26, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Speak Out The Prophetic Voice And Fight For The Marginalized - "International Forum on the Mission of the Church In Taiwan Today" Launched In Mid-February By PCT

 

Reported by Lin Jin-chia

 

In order to identify and search the future directions of the church ministries in Taiwan, an unprecedented seminar, entitled as "International Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today", was held by PCT's General Assembly Office at Presbyterian Bible College from February 13 to 17.

Through a very fine organization by Dr Victor Wan-chi Hsu, PCT's Associate General Secretary, about 190 respectable pastors, elders, theologians, scholars, and representatives, from 42 ecumenical churches and institutes around the world, were invited to take part into this historical PCT seminar to discuss Taiwan's current social, economic and political situations and the urgent ecumenical issues, like transitional justice, gender justice, economic justice, climate change, youth role in the church, the role of church as the prophet, ecumenical cooperation in church partnership and etc.

In the forum's opening service, unveiled by the renown string musics orchestra of Der-Seng Presbyterian Church of So-shan Presbytery and praised Tayal Presbytery's Shepherd Chorus, Rev Sudu Tada, Moderator of PCT General Assembly, delivered his sermon in a subject as "Let's Eat Together!" encouraging ecumenical partner churches and PCT to accommodate each other in God's love.

Rev Lyim Hong-tiong, General Secretary of PCT, said 2016 is a brand new start for Taiwan as President Tsai Ing-wen became the first female President in Taiwan history and the Goliath-like KMT lost its majority in the Congress. Facing these critical changes and issues occurred inside Taiwan's domestic environment, be it  social, economic or political, PCT expects to work with ecumenical partner churches to figure out the meanings and visions of "the Mission of the Church in Taiwan".

Dr François Chih-chung Wu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Department, was invited to address to this international assembly and give his best wishes and warm welcome to all participating members. Dr Wu said, in 2016, Taiwan had achieved the third party alternation in the presidential election and had been accredited as the most free countries, even surpassing the ranking of US, after a decade of efforts, and this is a very remarkable achievement! During the development of Taiwan's democracy after 1987, Dr Wu highly confirmed and appreciated the pioneering contributions made by PCT.

In the concluding session of this international forum, hosted by Rev Christopher Ferguson, General Secretary of WCRC, and Professor Albert Lin, a famous human rights campaigner for love and non-violence, many comments reflected their understanding and sympathy about why PCT proposed Taiwan's self-determination because it is the best way to stand by Taiwan society, her suffering history under colonial regimes and the people's zealous quest for freedom and democracy.

To clarify the priority between PCT's ecumenical projects and her domestic ministries, promote more ecumenical and cross-denominational cooperation, and improve PCT's relationships with China's church, some ecumenical partner churches even suggested to set up a regular Taiwan Ecumenical Forum as a platform for civics activities and dialogues.

As Taiwan's isolated colonial history and why PCT had to take up the cross and the suffering of the Taiwanese people were further understood through this international seminar, many ecumenical partner churches pledged to work with PCT, under a common vision that God blesses us an abundant living life, fighting against the globalized empire and its all forms of injustice!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

All participants of the international Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today take a big rally photograph at Presbyterian Bible College on 16 February 2017.

Photo by Lin Jin-chia

 

Rev Collin Cowan(behind the podium), General Secretary of Council of World Mission, challenged PCT whether she is ready to speak out the prophetic voice and fight for the marginalized such as immigrant labors in Taiwan society?

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3391 Edition

February 20 - 26, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Rev Dr Collin Cowan, General Secretary Of CWM, Challenges PCT To Speak Out For The Marginalized Without Voice

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

In his keynote speech, entitled as "Discerning the role of PCT in the unfolding Taiwan" among the International Forum of the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today held by PCT, Rev Dr Collin Cowan earnestly challenged PCT if she would take up her responsibility as a prophet to speak out for the marginalized, especially when the immigrant workers are inhumanly treated, exploited, abused and even raped by their employers in Taiwan.

"To let the voices of those suffered be heard, PCT has to engage Taiwan society as a prophet and raise up the banners of justice and peace for those marginalized without voices!", Rev Dr Collin Cowan solemnly unveiled the theme of his keynote speech to the audience.

Taiwan's Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2015 was less than 1%, though, her investment in China reached an unnerved 40%, Rev Dr Collin Cowan straightly pointed out that such an imbalanced economic structure exasperated the unemployment of the youth and prompted some infrastructure industries to keep relying more heavily on immigrant workers with low wages.

But a more miserable truth was that these 600,000 immigrant workers, mostly from south-eastern asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, Thailand, Vietnam and etc, were not honored by Taiwan society for their irreplaceable contribution to support the faltering economics, Rev Dr Collin Cowan remarked, instead they were usually stigmatized as wrongdoer, offender or even criminal and accordingly those exploitation and abuses imposed upon them were easily silenced, neglected, or even swept under the rug!

Various hardships confronted these immigrant workers in Taiwan, as President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her concerns several times in her public speech and noted by Rev Dr Collin Cowan, includes serious overtime, hazardous environments, incredibly low-paid jobs, abuse, sudden death due to accident, violence, rape, absence of labor insurance, and high commissions to labor agents.

Rev Dr Collin Cowan encouraged 1,244 churches of PCT to care more about the sufferings and wants of all inhabitants across this island. Let more people in sufferings encounter God to find out their own lives' meanings in God's infinite generosity and compassionate presence inside diverse cultures, races, and religions on this beautiful island, Rev Dr Collin Cowan called, just like the inflicted and helpless church without the shepherd could still cry out to God face to face through the spiritual strength and passionate hope blessed from God!

"Are we ready?!", Rev Dr Collin Cowan asked the audience at site with two questions further: What we Christians see though the eyes of those children and youth suffered by all these unbearable looting and exploitation on themselves? While the people anticipate to be saved from all kinds of devastations such as theft, robbery, killing and ravaging, what are the actual solutions of PCT? These two questions have to be replied seriously if we want to discern the role of PCT in the unfolding Taiwan, Rev Dr Collin Cowan concluded in his speech.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev Dr Collin Cowan, General Secretary Of CWM, stressed an attitude of constantly think and review should be a common stance of contemporary church to deal with all kinds challenges lying ahead. It means to use our spiritual insight, based on God's wisdom and spiritual practices, to learn the quintessence under all superficial phenomenons. Especially, when people are under special social and political circumstances, such spiritual insights could help us to understand God's will and our destiny in that particular context.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 


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