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Taiwan Church News

3243 Edition

April 21 - April 27, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Say No To Ecological Devastation, Rotam CropSciences Is Strongly Protested In Xinhua, Tainan

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

Rotam CropSciences Ltd, ranked as the 8th agrochemicals manufacturer around the globe, was strongly protested at her new plant's construction ceremony at Xinhua by local people and Tavocam Green Environment Alliance on April 1st.

 

Because the major products of Rotam CropSciences are crops growth regulators, plant nutrients and veterinary chemicals, which are highly toxic agrocheimicals like herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and etc, local people and environment group worry very much about the unpredictable risk of possible toxic pollution on air, water, land and life once Rotam CropSciences is allowed to construct her plant and start production.

 

Tainan Mayor, Lai Chin-der, said on April 17 that Rotam CropSciences is legally allowed to build up her factory buildings according to the routine procedure applied to all manufacturers. But, Lai explained further that the approval of factory building is absolutely different from the permission of plant operation. On April 18, forced by more and more pressure and dissident voices from local citizens and environmental groups, the licence of Rotam's factory building is annulled by Mayor Lai as it is found expired. And Mayor Lai pledges to keep a watch on this case, once there is any possibility leading to deadlyl pollution, he would never approve the plant operation.

 

In the evening on April 18, an Anti Rotam CropSciences assembly is held by Tavocam Green Environment Alliance at the plaza of the Wu-der Temple at Xinhua, about 3500 people take part in this environment-protecting event. Rev. Chang Li-fu, Pastor of Xinhua Presbyterian Church, also attended this assembly with his congregation members to express their concern about this homeland.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 


With a headband, meaning protecting the future, young men, child and mother assemble together to voice their protest and express their determination to protect their own homeland - Taiwan!

 

Photo by Simon Lin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3243 Edition

April 21 - April 27, 2014

Headline News

 

 

Lin I-hsiung Starts An Endless Hunger Strike To Abolish The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

 

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

On April 22, Earth Day, in a pledge: Do the Democracy! Abolish the Fourth Nuclear Plant!, Mr. Lin I-hsiung in his age of 73 years old starts an endless hunger strike. It seems he has made up his mind to demonstrate his silent but strongest protest against the despotic bumbling of KMT regime, led by President Ma Ying-jeou, as the place he proceeds his hunger strike, though now a church, is his old house where his mother and twin daughters were heinously murdered by professional killer on February 28th 1980.

 

After delivering a short press conference to the media, stressing the nuclear safety assured by Ma Ying-jeou regime is absolutely a cheating trick, Lin starts his hunger strike in silence from around 11:30 am on April 22 with the prayer from Rev. Hsu Chen-dau and the blessings from Buddhist Master Shi Chao Hwei.

 

In his open letter to the public, on April 21, Lin expresses that the human body is the most treasured wealth and the life is absolutely priceless. He would not risk his life to endure such an endless strike, if it is not due to the Taiwan authorities' ignoring the general will of the public, breaching the democratic values pursued in his whole life and insisting to build the Fourth Nuclear Plant with a despotic mind-set. Lin remarked that If there is any misfortune happened in his hunger strike, it is only due to "these authorities decide to kill him".

 

In an earlier open letter, released on April 15 by Chi Lin Educational Foundation, Lin straightly commented that Taiwan people had become more and more aware about the fact: the debate on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is not about whether people want electricity or not, but about the choice between life and death! Because, according to many opinion polls, there are always above 70% of the inquired people demonstrating their opposition to carry on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

 

Lin pointed out that the contentious arguments about whether Taiwan should operate the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has sustained for 30 years long. Now, more and more people has become acknowledged that Taiwan is not short of electricity at all and it is absolutely an unnecessary waste to carry on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant!

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 


Lin I-hsiung(front with red neckcloth) in the Gi-kong Presbyterian Church.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

Appealing to abolish the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, Lin I-hsiung starts his endless hunger strike at a corner within Gi-kong Presbyterian Church. This place, Lin could sit and meditate before a desk during his hunger strike, is also the most heinous site where his mother and twin daughters got brutally murdered on February 28, 1980.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3242 Edition

April  14 - April  20, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Annual Meeting of PCT's 59th General Assembly Is Convened At Tainan From April 22 To 25, 2014

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

From April 22 to 25, over 650 representatives from different PCT presbyteries and local churches convened together at Tainan's Chang Jung Girls' Senior High School, working hard to discuss and evaluate various proposals within the annual meeting of PCT's 59th General Assembly. The major theme of this annual meeting reads: Stretch Deep The Root Of Gospel Into Country And Tribe! Live Out The Faith Of Church And Become The Sign Of Hope!

 

As 2014 is also the 60th memorial anniversary of the indigenous mission, lots of indigenous images and flavor are permeated in many programs of this annual meeting agenda, like opening ceremony, morning prayer, indigenous ministry workshop, the evening of the indigenous culture, the demonstration booth of the indigenous ministry and etc.

 

In order to let Taiwan churches in different denominations to learn the contents and agenda of PCT's annual meeting, a press conference is held by Rev. Cheng Yin-er (PCT's Associate General Secretary) for the church media, including Taiwan Church Press, Christian Tribune, Kingdom Revival Times, Christian Daily and New Eyes Television.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Press conference is held by Rev. Cheng Yin-er(PCT's Associate General Secretary, center in red vest) to inform the public about the content and agenda of the 2014 annual meeting of PCT's 59th General Assembly.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3241 Edition

April  7  - April  13, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Tashi Tsering Share The Tibetans' Pursuit For Independence And Freedom

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

On April 7th, in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the self-immolation of Chen Nan-jung, a very famous human rights activist and thinker, Tashi Tsering - Chairman of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Taiwan - was invited by Taiwan Association for Human Rights(TAHR) to share the story of Tibetans' struggles and dreams after the validation of "Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet": how China sent into the troops and occupy Tibet? how the authoritarian ruling was set up? and etc.

 

Tashi Tsering remarked that, before China's bloody invasion, Tibet is an independent country over 2,000 years in human history. Now through continuous military oppression and large volume immigrants, China wishes to subordinate the Tibetans with population and educational brain-wash. In order to get a stricter control, the Tibetans are requested to waive their nomadic style and adapt themselves to apartment life. People are not free to travel or relocate, unless with documents to prove. Especially, to censor the thought of the common people, the religious freedom is severely restricted: the picture of the world-reputed Dalai Lama is forbidden to hang out publicly, the incarnation inheritance of Renpoche and Lama is intervened, and etc.

 

Tashi Tsering, who has come and lived in Taiwan for 15 years, said he does not hate the Chinese who love freedom and democracy. But he dislike the regime of China Communist, because they are against human rights. He wishes some day his dream of Tibetan independence could came true and he could go back home. He also expresses his appreciation for the assistance from Taiwan's NGO, helping the Tibetan exiles to organize and develop on this island. He felt very much encouraged and inspired by the democratic Sunflower Student Movement. Finally, he apprises the wonderful democratic legacy bequeathed from the freedom fighters, like Cheng Nan-jung, that we could learn and treasure such precious gift!

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Tashi Tsering(Left in blue vest) shares the struggling stories of the Tibetan people after signature of the so-called "Seventeen Point Agreement" between China and Tibet on May 23, 1951.

 

Photo by Simon Lin


 
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Taiwan Church News

3241 Edition

April  7 - April 13, 2014

Headline News

 

Commemoration of Nylon, A Martyr For Taiwan Independence And Freedom

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

April 7th of 2014 is the date to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the self-immolation of Mr. Cheng Nan-jung, who is nicknamed "Nylon" by his families and close friends, on his special contribution as a pro-democracy publisher on speech freedom and a pro-Taiwan independence activist to demonstrate his courageous independence stance in Taiwan's military ruled 1980s.

 

 

A special commemoration assembly, hosted by Cheng Nan-jung Foundation, was held at "Cheng Nan-jung Memorial Cemetery - Wings of Freedom" located in Chin Pao San Cemetery Service. The participants included Yeh Ju-lan(Nylon's widow), Cheng Ju-may(Nylon's daughter), Hsieh Chang-ting(former Prime Minister), Chen Juh(Kaohsiung City Mayor), Hsu Seh-kai(former Representative to Japan), Chiu Yu-ping(NCKU law school student), Lee Seng-hsiong(human rights Lawyer), Hsieh Zhuo-lan(Associate Professor of Dong Hwa University) and many families of 228 massacre victims.

 

 

Yeh Ju-lan, Nylon's widow, said that Nylon would have smile to see how Taiwan had changed after he had passed away. Especially, the civil disobedience practiced by the Sunflower Student Movement is the amazing blossom, which seed was sewed 25 years ago by the same unyielding and disobedient soul like Nylon to pursue Taiwan's independence and speech freedom. But, she also stressed that Taiwan still has lots of difficult problems to overcome. "If we would make good use our courage, perseverance and the power of will, I believe Taiwan is still full of hope!", said Yeh.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Yeh Ju-lan(left), Nylon's widow, with her daughter Cheng Ju-may(center), gave their remembrance via rose to Nylon(Cheng Nan-jung) on his 25th anniversary of self-immolation for Taiwan's independence and speech freedom.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March  31 - April 6, 2014

Editorial

 

 

Editorial: Let The Spirit Of Voluntary Commitment Becomes Our Energy and Power

 

 

Over five hundreds thousands black shirt citizens flooded into the Katagalan Boulevard on March 30, protesting against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement(CSSTA) and demonstrating their will to protect Taiwan's democracy, with a sincere wish that President Ma Ying-jeou could humbly down to listen the voice of the people.

 

Since the students occupied the congress meeting hall from March 18, lots of students from around the the country poured into the streets around the congress to protect the students inside the congress building. Many college teachers and university professors, moving their classrooms within the safe campus onto the streets around the occupied parliament, lectured openly to the students and citizens about the citizen society. And the students inside the congress also voluntarily organized themselves to maintain the traffics, sanitary cleaning and material supplies. No body commands and no body mobilize anyone to maintain all these miscellaneous stuffs. But the students would show up to help, once there is demand heard.

 

Except the voluntary maintenance of the order by the students and teachers, during the period of occupying the congress, many pickup trucks owned by the ordinary citizens also appeared voluntarily to transport the daily supplies, like food, water, blankets, electric facilities and etc, to the temporarily established material resources booths. These goods and supplies are charities donated from the citizens to support the students. Maybe these citizens could not stage a long stay to protest inside the congress, but they do their best efforts to join this student movement. In the meantime, many activity groups with different social concerns also staged their booth around the congress, exchanging their thoughts and ideas with the students and the rallied citizens.

 

In addition to the charity from the crowd, a group of Christians demonstrated their calling to comfort the agitated temper and disquiet mind during this contentious student protest. So, prayer meeting and vigil were held every night in the Chi-nan Presbyterian Church. Some PCT youth even organised the "Sunflower Choir" to sing the hymns, expecting these peaceful lyrics could comfort and encourage the students in stress and challenge. Especially, Chi-nan Presbyterian Church, which is just located beside the congress, does a very good service to the students and citizens: their church spaces and facilities were maximally utilized and offered to accommodate the students and the citizens. The most impressive thing about these service and charities is that all done in a spirit of voluntary commitment!

 

There are many differences between this Sunflower Student Movement and ordinary activists campaign. One of the most distinguishing characteristics is her voluntary commitment. Such voluntary committed action does not mean to act arbitrarily, but to hear the call of demand and voluntarily to respond in order to make the operation more smooth and fluent. Though there were many communications and negotiations required, with a vision to defend our democracy in Taiwan, students, teachers, citizens and Christians could stand united to work together. No matter what the results would be, the passionate welding of these social forces has lead Taiwan society jumping into a brand new world!

 

Back to the issues discussed within our beloved church, what we can learn from this Sunflower Student Movement? Would we give more chance and freedom to our church youth, like the social activist campaign movements, let our church youth to do their own ministries and learn to be voluntarily committed and responsible? Whether we could persuasively empower our PCT members to voluntarily commit themselves into kinds of ministries, instead of crowd mobilization? If we could really grasp the true spirit - voluntary commitment - from this Sunflower Student Movement, practicing more energetically in the gospel preaching and social concern, it is not far to make our church to become the sign of hope!

 

 


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