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Taiwan Church News

3390 Edition

February 13 - 19, 2017

Headline News

 

228 Massacre Event Revisited From The Freedom Of Speech And Alternative Perspectives

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

When Mr Cheng Nan-jung, a defiant warrior for the freedom of speech and the self-immolated martyr for Taiwan independence, launched his renown Freedom Era Weekly in March 1984, his declaration about the mission of this weekly magazine is still haunting in Taiwan society: "[its mission is] fighting for 100% freedom of speech!", Cheng Nan-jung resolutely pledged then.

On February 11, a special exhibition, entitled as "Breaking the taboos of expressions - Cheng Na-jung x 228", was held at Cheng Nan-jung Liberty Museum in order to remind Taiwan society there are still many alternative perspectives to learn about this historical 228 massacre event. Mr Hsu Jang-hsien, chairman of Cheng Nan-jung Foundation, hoped this exhibition could help heal and renewal Taiwan toward a healthy tomorrow.

A press conference was held before the opening of the significant exhibition, as it also marked the 30th anniversary of the first ever street demonstration, occurred at Tainan City on 5 April 1987, protesting the government's illegal confiscation of the weekly publications of the 1835 edition of Taiwan Church News(TCN).

Many important participants of this street demonstration were invited to witness this historical protest related to 228 massacre event, including Lawyer Lee Seng-hsiung, Rev Lin Chong-zeng, Elder Hwang Chao-kai, and several others. Rev Fang Lang-ting, representing Taiwan Church Press, was also specially invited to deliver a message.

Rev Fang Lang-ting expressed, the reason why Taiwan Garrison Command(TCG) forcibly broke into Taiwan Church Press to confiscate the weekly publications of TCN on 20 February 1987, was that some articles about 228 massacre were printed inside TCN's 1835 edition and its special supplement - "A Living Way".

TCG's savage intrusion into Taiwan Church Press prompted a big furore among Taiwan churches and resulted into a big rally of church members asking the government to return those church publications, Rev Fang remarked, adding that the mayor of Tainan City finally apologized publicly and those confiscated publications were reprinted by TCG and returned back to Taiwan Church Press.

Quoting Cheng Nan-jung's inspiring saying, "I am Cheng Nan-jung, and I propose Taiwan independence", uttered in a public speech in 1987 and risked a possible charge of death penalty as Taiwan was still under martial law then, Rev Fang affirmed Cheng's fearless braveness to challenge the taboos of expression and speak out the truth as this is the authentic calling and the quintessential spirit for a free media!

How should Taiwan society guard against the threats to the freedom of the speech? Rev Fang suggested that Voltaire's opinion, paraphrased as "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", deserves to be accommodated as a common value among us.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Many important participants of PCT's demonstration, occurred at Tainan City on 5 April 1987, were invited to witness this 30th anniversary's protest related to 228 massacre event, including Lawyer Lee Seng-hsiung(3rd from right), Rev Lin Chong-zeng(2nd from left), Elder Hwang Chao-kai(2nd from right), and several others. Rev Fang Lang-ting(1st from left), representing Taiwan Church Press, was specially invited to deliver a message. Mrs Yeh Chu-lan(3rd from left), widow of Cheng Nan-jung, also came to greet old friends at the site of exhibition on 11 February 2017.

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3390 Edition

February 13 - 19, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Dr Chen Yong-hsin Shares His Experiences Of Rehabilitating 228 Massacre Victims Since 1987 And His Thoughts Of Transitional Justice In Taiwan

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

Under a series of lectures, entitled as "The 70th anniversary of 228 Massacre Event: Our 228" and hosted by National Museum of Taiwan History, Dr Chen Yong-hsin, the publisher and president of Taiwan People News, was invited to deliver a speech about his participation in the social justice movement of rehabilitation for those involved in 228 massacre since 1987 and his thoughts about the transitional justice of Taiwan society on February 11.

Within his speech, Dr Chen retrieved how a rehabilitation movement for 228 massacre was launched in 1987. In their first press conference, as Taiwan was still under an administration of martial law then, their many proposals to the government, like opening the official files of those murdered victims, setting February 28 as a national commemoration day, or editing the 228 massacre event into the textbook, were all criticized as mission impossible, Dr Chen said, adding that their each assembly to speak out their voices would be surrounded by those riot police and troops, and even some their co-workers were assaulted at Changhua area.

"When I was a kid, most of my elder families even would not dare to mention about this tragic 228 massacre. Taiwan had a population about 6 millions in 1947, based on the statistics that the murdered population then was over 20 thousands, it could be inferred that one in every 300 people was killed by the government's troops. In other words, roughly every clan-family got one victimized in the 228 massacre. That's a horrified experience penetrating into a whole family", remarked Dr Chen.

Not only Taiwan society was abhorrently gripped by such a great fear and chaos generated in 228 massacre, what's more devastating emerged after KMT's ruthless ruling with social cleansing and martial law: many bright Taiwanese students chose to study abroad and stay overseas, as the opportunities of social choice were all exploited by KMT regime, observed Dr Chen.

Dr Chen lamented, " As a psychiatric myself, I think the 228 massacre is a critical event having a great impact upon the souls of the Taiwanese. And it's a very unhealthy culture, as we are traditionally cultivated in the past 70 years, to discipline the children to behave in absolute compliance without questions, never care about the politics, and trust nobody except the people in our same ethnicity." Taiwan still has lots of spaces and potentialities to proceed the jobs of reformation, as the people's sufferings are also the sources of our power, expressed Dr Chen.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Dr Chen Yong-hsin shares his experiences engaging the social movement of rehabilitating 228 massacre's victims and his thoughts of transitional justice in Taiwan in a lecture, held by National Museum of Taiwan History, on 11 February, 2017.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 
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Taiwan Church News

3390 Edition

February 13 - 19, 2017

Church Ministry

 

PCT Leaders Invited To Attend National Prayer Breakfast Of USA

 

Reported by TCN staff

 

During Taiwan's lunar new year vacation, PCT Moderator Rev Sudu Tada and General Secretary Rev Lyim Hong-tiong are honorably invited by US congress to attend the celebrated National Prayer Breakfast and take part in a public hearing to support China's human rights lawyers in the Library of Congress.

Two PCT leaders are also well received by Mr Gao Shuo-tai, Taiwan's ambassdor to USA, at the famous Twin Oaks. Within their exchange with Ambassador Gao, Rev Sudu Tada and Rev Lyim Hong-tiong reiterate PCT's firm stance on "Taiwan may become a new and independent country" as pledged in a PCT Human Rights Declaration(1977).

President Donald Trump delivers a 20 minutes speech in the 65th National Prayer Breakfast, which is held in the Hilton Hotel of Washington DC at 9:00 a.m. on February 2. Under an arrangement by Mr Yang Sen-hong, chairman of Taiwan Association for China Human Rights and a PCT member, Rev Lyim Hong-tiong is the first ever PCT pastor invited to attend this historical assembly.

Retrieving his attendance at the prayer breakfast, Rev Lyim shares his two most touched moments listening to President Trump's speech: first, when President Trump says that the people he met in his election campaign always said to him "I am praying for you"; second, when he says, "Our Republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God." At these two moments, the audience stand up several times to applaud and express their heart-felt approvals, Rev Lyim says.

At the last stop of their journey to USA, Rev Sudu Tada and Rev Lyim Hong-tiong also pay a visit to the Taiwan Presbyterian Church(TPC) at Washington DC and the church's pastor Rev Hong Chien-li. Except reporting the results of this significant participation in National Prayer Breakfast, two PCT leaders also brief current PCT ministries for the congregation members of TPC.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Reiterating PCT's long-standing stance endeavoring for "a new and independent country", Rev Sudu Tada(left) and Rev Lyim Hong-tiong take a photograph with Taiwan Ambassador Gao Shou-tai(center) at Twin Oaks on 27 February 2017.

Photograph supplied by Rev Lyim Hong-tiong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3389 Edition

February 6 - 12, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Goods Bank Refreshingly Opened In Chia-yi City To Help The Needy

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

On January 25, a Chia-yi City Government's goods bank, supplying the needy with daily utilities like electric appliances, clothes, shoes, dishes, tissues and foods, is re-opened with a brand new shake-up at Renewal Garden District of Social Welfare Center for the Disabled which management is commissioned to Chia-yi Christian Hospital(CCH).

Mr Tu Hsing-tse, Mayor of Chia-yi City, specially showed up to deliver a thanks-giving speech toward CCH's contributions on Chia-yi city's social welfare programs for years.

Dr Chen Cheng-jen, the superintendent of CCH, remarks that this goods bank always hires the disabled employees to collect, classify and put on shelf the goods donated from the public in order to serve those people in needs.

Regarding this goods bank's total sales, except recycling to cover the cost of salary, training, and labor insurances for these disabled employees, it would also be deployed to offer more job opportunities for the disabled in the future in order to serve the public, Dr Chen says.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

A Chia-yi City Government's goods bank, supplying the needy with daily utilities like electric appliances, clothes, shoes, dishes, tissues and foods, is re-opened with a brand new shake-up at Renewal Garden District of Social Welfare Center for the Disabled on 25 January 2017.


People choose daily utilities at Chia-yi City Government's goods bank.

Photos by Chia-yi Christian Hospital

 
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Taiwan Church News

3389 Edition

February 6 - 12, 2017

Church Ministry

 

A Happy Learning Of Biblical Hebrew And Greek At Nan-shi Presbyterian Church

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

On February 4 and 5, Ms Chen Fong-hsiang, a teacher of Holy Light Theological Seminary, was invited to teach the alphabets of biblical Hebrew and Greek at Nan-shi Presbyterian Church at Tainan Presbytery. Through singing some interesting alphabet songs, or writing those alphabets on spring festival couplets by a traditional calligraphy, the participating church members got a very happy learning and an impressive encounter with those initial alphabets of God's Words - Biblical Hebrew and Greek.

Except teaching Hebrew and Greek alphabets to the local church members, the other major purpose of Ms Chen's lecture is to introduce the methods of how to utilize the Chinese Bible Studies website, located on the internet as https://bible.fhl.net, to do a better biblical exegesis, translation and interpretation after some basic knowledge of Hebrew and Greek vocabularies were understood.

Ms Chen points out that these 101 lessons of Biblical languages and alphabets are just a simple starter. The point is to empower the church members' enthusiasm that they can find great joy in studying God's words by themselves, Ms Chen says.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Through a traditional calligraphy, Ms Chen Fong-hsiang teaches the church members how to write Hebrew alphabets from right to left on spring festival couplets.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 
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Taiwan Church News

3389 Edition

February 6 - 12, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Changhua Coastal Wetland Urged To Be Legalized As A Ecological Conservation Zone

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

Though Taiwan's Wetland Conservation Act has alrady been passed on 2nd February 2015, intentionally to comply with UN's World Wetland Day on annual 2nd February, the biggest estuarine ecosystem with 6 kilometers' intertidal belt composed of muddy sediments at Changhua coastal wetland is still not legally recognized as an ecological conservation zone.

Changhua Environmental Protection Union(CEPU) urges the government should proceed a positive administrative action, declaring Changhua coastal wetland as a legal zone immediately, ignoring some groundless accusations that such order of environmental protection would impede local development or the people's daily business.

Changhua coastal wetland, with a 6 kilometer's intertidal belt formed by estuary muds from Chou-sui River, is a critical natural reserve of very critical bird species like Far Eastern Curlew, Gull and etc. The population of these critical bird species at this treasured wetland is even estimated to reach 1% of their global quantity. In addition, the bio-diversity of the benthic creatures under this wetland is abundantly rich and absolutely deserves a legal recognition and protection from Taiwan society!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

A scenario of the amazingly stunning Changhua coastal wetland.

Photo by Simon Lin

 


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