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Taiwan Church News

3342 Edition

March 14 - 20, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Tân Tì-hiông, First Martyr For Taiwan Independence, Is Honored At His Centenary Remembrance

 

In the afternoon on March 12, a meeting commemorative of the centenary birthday of Mr Tân Tì-hiông, the first martyr for Taiwan independence, was held at National Taiwan University Alumnus Complex. This is an assembly jointly organized by 10 pro-independence groups.

Prof Ted Lau, speaker of the Taiwanese National Congress, gave a brief introduction to the life of Mr Tân Tì-hiông, who was born in 1916 at Pingtung and became a Japanese diplomat stationed in Indonesia during WWII. After the war is over in 1945, Tân Tì-hiông help his Indonesian friends to fight for the independence from the colonial Dutch government. As a member of the founding fathers of Indonesia, Tân was even awarded a medal of honorary citizen by President Sukarno.

At the eruption of 228 massacre, Tân also gave his strongest support for this Taiwanese national revolution with his Indonesian comrades. But, due to the pro-China stance of the Indonesian authority, Tân was sent back to Japan. Since then, Tân turned his life and energy toward the independence movement of the Republic of Taiwan. In 1955, Tân was assigned as a South-Eastern Asia ambassador at large for the Republic of Taiwan and attended the First Asian-African Conference at Bandung.

Though Tân diplomatic expertise was greatly acknowledged, he was never a friend of KMT regime. Under the pressure of KMT, Tân was extradited back to Taiwan from Japan. (Another saying is that Tân was kidnapped by KMT back to Taiwan.) After a short period of release from prison, due to a continuous engagement in Taiwan independence movement, Tân was executed by KMT on 28th May, 1963.

Dr Chen Yong-hsin, former president of Lo-tung Catholic Hospital, urged Ping-tung County set up a commemorative museum for Mr Tân Tì-hiông. Carrying on the independent spirit of Tân Tì-hiông, Dr Chen also expected the foreign trade policy of Tsai Ing-wen's administration should aim at south-east Asia countries.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3342 Edition

March 14 - 20, 2016

Headline News

 

Farewell Nuclear Power And Facing Nuclear Waste

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On March 12, an annual anti-nuclear parade, entitled as "Farewell Nuclear Power And Facing Nuclear Waste" was held in Taipei. This annual event, demanding three Taiwan nuclear power plants stopping operation as early as possible and abolishing No. 4 nuclear power plant immediately, was organized by the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform and taken into the streets by over 7,000 people from 60 anti-nuclear groups.

Regarding the low-level radioactive nuclear waste, which was "temporarily stored" at Orchid island, Mr Sinan Mavivo, chief executive of the Foundation of Orchid Tribal Culture, pointed out that any nuclear waste site should be legislated by the congress. Mr Mavivo strongly protested against KMT government's arbitrary choice of his home town, the aboriginal Orchid Island, as the site of nuclear waste. In the meantime, the Tao aboriginal people on Orchid island had been promised to relocate current nuclear waste site for years, yet still without any substantial action, complained Mr Mavivo.

On the problem how the high-level radioactive nuclear waste should be handled, Wilang Toli, an youth from Nan-ao Township, expressed his fury saying "These nuclear waste should be dumped on the streets in Taipei, since the government said the people around the nuclear waste site have received advantages from the tax payers." In 2015, KMT government chose Nan-ao township, a mountainous area at the east of Taroko National Park, as the final site for high-level radioactive nuclear waste.

Wilang Toli delivered his sarcastic criticism toward the schizophrenia of Taiwan society and the government, especially on KMT's double standard at human rights and nuclear waste policy toward the aboriginal people. How can people chant human rights and enjoy cheap energy so effortlessly, while heartlessly burying the long-lasting radioactive nuclear waste at the beautiful home land of aboriginal peoples?

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

With 7,000 people taking to the streets, an annual anti-nuclear parade, entitled as "Farewell Nuclear Power And Facing Nuclear Waste", was held in Taipei on 12 March, 2016.

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3341 Edition

March 7 - 13, 2016

Editorial

 

Theology = Learning About God + Training In Spirituality

 

Every year when it comes to March, the faculty and the student of Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS) would travel to local congregations across the island to greet PCT members and report the school's status quo. So, annual March in PCT is also called a month of TTCS. This is to rekindle PCT believers' enthusiasm to carry on their past care, intercession and donation for TTCS, in order to keep pumping fresh blood and strenuous energy into this initial heart of Taiwan Church.

"If no training fed to the laymen, they would perish one by one; but, if no training given to evangelist and co-workers, the believers would die en mass", this is a wise saying dictated by a deceased pastor, expecting all Taiwanese Christians to reflect if she did possess enough training to stand firm upon spirituality and understanding.

Dr. Lin Deh-hau, former president of China Lutheran Seminary, writes in his book, entitled as «Theology Is Learning About God », "A seminary is both an important utensil used by God and a fallible instrument in the world. Just like any other institute in the secular world, a seminary would possess her goods and bad. This should be understood by any student intending to apply for a seminary and accept a theological training".

Dr. Lin's book has six chapters. Chapter 1 & 2 explicate the definition, continuity and purification of the "calling" during the beginning period of a theological education. The next three chapters explained the goal, content and methodology of theological education. And the final chapter emphasizes a graduation from seminary does not mean an end of theological education. A theological student, desiring to be an evangelist after her graduation, not only has to study theology seriously, but also has to learn Christ in heart. Otherwise, she would not be able to sustain harsh challenges and critical tests waiting on her way of ministry.

It is absolutely not an easy job for the church clergymen to stay at the front line in any evangelical battlefield, as everyday's life seems to be at war and every Sunday's sermon is full of challenges. Nowadays, comparing to the past, it becomes more and more difficult to minister the modern church. Except the laymen's education and self-consciousness is raised up, what the evangelists could learn from the internet are also available to the believers. Such secularization of the church versed in communication technology becomes more and more fashionable, yet only the experience, insight and an unequivocal witness from the evangelist and co-workers could find no match. So, to be an useful utensils to the Lord, the theological students and the evangelists need to take training and live out a life of Christ.

At present, there are many wandering pastors queuing up to serve Taiwan churches. As a minister, she would certain face critical challenges if being lack of a solid study in theological knowledge about God. A sufficient theological training, though, could make a person strong and advantageous enough to face her ministry crisis, but these virtues and advantages could also turns against oneself as a weapon if no humbleness or self-restraint is maintained.

In the very beginning of his letter to the Corinth church, the Apostle Paul gave his thanksgiving to God for various spiritual gifts granted to the Corinthian church. What Paul wanted to say was that, except the outward grace of God enriching the Corinthians in speech and knowledge of every kind, the indispensability of an inner training. Because the reasons why spiritual gift is granted to the church believers is to promote the growth of the church and serve the Lord. Therefore, to reach an essential buildup of spiritual life, not only the spiritual gifts granted from God is required, but also a multiple training in spirituality and understanding is necessary.

 
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Taiwan Church News

3341 Edition

March 7 - 13, 2016

Church Ministry

 

A PCT Southern Synod Launched In Disputes

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

Some pastors, from four PCT presbyteries including Chiayi, Tainan, Soshan and Pingtung, officially launched a "Southern Synod" of PCT at Fongshan church in the morning on March 3. Moderated by Rev. Pan Ching-chan, pastor of Dong-men church of Chiayi presbytery, the participated pastors and elders from these four presbyteries passed a draft bill entitled as « PCT Southern Synod Act » with 125 approving votes. Thus, a PCT Southern Synod was officially established.

Concerning the question, why there should be a PCT Southern Synod, Rev. Shih Lien-chen, pastor of Wang-dan church of Pingtung presbytery explained that it was due to an united ministry cooperated in recent years among these southern presbyteries and a more and more strong demand felt to establish a permanent organization.

The staff of the Southern Synod were elected as the followings: Rev. Pan Ching-chan(Chiayi presbytery), Moderator; Rev. Lo Ren-quei(Tainan Presbytery), Vice Moderator; Rev. Yeh Ya-nah(Soshan Presbytery), General Secretary; Rev. Su Song-rong(Pingtung presbytery), Associate General Secretary; Elder Chao Ming-chon(Chiayi presbytery), Accountant. But, Rev. Lo Ren-quei submitted his resignation on March 8, declaring his appointment as Vice Moderator still required a legitimacy from PCT constitution and extant church laws.

Rev. Lee Kao-ming, secretary of PCT's Church Law Committee, remarked that it was possible to establish a southern synod under current PCT codes. But, the only condition required was that such new synod should be compliant to extant PCT church laws, said Rev. Lee. In other words, the set up of a synod should be discussed and approved by the General Assembly. Apparently, this is what the Southern Synod is short of!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

The staff of the Southern Synod were elected from left to right as the followings: Rev. Pan Ching-chan(Chiayi presbytery), Moderator; Rev. Lo Ren-quei(Tainan Presbytery), Vice Moderator; Rev. Yeh Ya-nah(Soshan Presbytery), General Secretary; Rev. Su Song-rong(Pingtung presbytery), Associate General Secretary; Elder Chao Ming-chon(Chiayi presbytery), Accountant.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 
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Taiwan Church News

3341 Edition

March 7 - 13, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Prison Reform: Rehabilitate Or Revenge?

 

Reported by Chen Yi-fan

 

On March 4, a seminar about prison reform was held by Cafe Philo at Sin Pink Pier in Kaohsiung City. Mr Gero Meinen, director of the Department of Correctional Services and Criminal Law under the Ministry of Justice of the Federal State of Berlin, was specially invited to deliver a speech about rehabilitation and revenge in modern prison reform. Over 100 people squeezed into the lecture room and raised questions about the abolition of capital punishment.

Mr Meinen pointed out, after the Holocaust of 6 millions Jews killed by Nazi regime in WWII, that the German people thoroughly understood the death penalty should be abolished permanently. Except Belarus, all EU countries has already scraped the death penalty, said Meinen.

"There are two functions played by the prison," remarked Meinen, "one is to help the inmate to rehabilitate and the other one is to revenge!" The reason, why the death penalty became unfit for modern society, is that it could only be justified by revenge and did nothing helpful to the families of the victims, said Meinen.

But, on the other hand, a highly controlled and disciplined prison could also contribute nothing to rehabilitate the prisoners. As more contentious riots could be easily sparked due to such disciplined prison. Regarding the prison reform, it is not the exclusive business of lawyers, government officials and wardens, but also needs the expertise from psychologist, social workers and etc, remarked Meinen.

In Germany,  each inmate was assessed systematically among the factors, like personality, criminal histories, probabilities of repeated crimes, types of education and therapy, in order to integrate a rehabilitation into his term of prison and facilitate his adaption into society after release, expressed Meinen.

"Yo can build a very good open prison at your wish. But, after the prisoners' release, if there is no adequate social relation networks, like the church, the fellowship of the rehabilitated persons and the like, all your previous efforts will be in vain!", reminded Meinen.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Mr Gero Meinen(standing in white shirt), director of the Department of Correctional Services and Criminal Law under the Ministry of Justice of the Federal State of Berlin, was invited to deliver a speech about rehabilitation and revenge in modern prison reform at a seminar held by Cafe Philo at Sin Pink Pier in Kaohsiung City on 4 March 2016.

Photo by Chen Yi-fan

 
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Taiwan Church News

3341 Edition

March 7 - 13, 2016

Headline News

 

Groups For And Against The Death Penalty Jointly Hold A Book Launch

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

How could Ms Angela Wang, an adamant supporter for the death penalty after her nephew was horrendously abused to death, take a photograph with her antagonist, Ms Lin Hsin-yi, chief executive of TAEDP(Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty)? Entitle as « Invisible Cry: The Victims' Words From Their Bottom Hearts », TAEDP held a book launch in Legislative Yuan on March 3. Ms Wang is one of the interviewees inside this book.

The attitudes toward the death penalty, though, were diametrically different between the groups for and against, an effort to care and support the victim became a consensus between us, remarked Angela Wang. Only If the sufferings of the victims and their families could be well handled, without sacrificing their legal rights and advantages, then a true cooperation could start, said Wang.

Ms Wu Jia-zhen, deputy executive of TAEDP, said it was a heartfelt panic in Taiwan society that the victims and their families affected by criminal cases always had to confront double-sided pressure. That is, regardless their deliberated decision to forgive the suspects or not, either they feelings were randomly cast to meet social expectation, or they were critically questioned by the media or the public once they chose to pardon the criminals. To help care for the victims and their families it is the reason why TAEDP decide to cooperate and stand by them, said Wu.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Ms Angela Wang(left), an adamant supporter for the death penalty after her nephew was horrendously abused to death, took a photograph with her antagonist, Ms Lin Hsin-yi(right), chief executive of TAEDP(Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty) in the book launch party at Legislative Yuan on March 3, 2016.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

In order to support the victims and their families affected by criminal cases, two civil groups - for and against the death penalty - jointly launch a book entitled « Invisible Cry: The Victims' Words From Their Bottom Hearts » at Legislative Yuan on March 3, 2016. Mr Welling Koo(leftmost), a famous lawyer and a DPP legislator at large, also attended this book launch to give his support for such reconciliation event.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 


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