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Taiwan Church News
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An Affirmation and Appeal

concerning the Students Public Demonstration against

the illegal adoption of the Service and Trade Pact with China


The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) affirms the non-violent action of many students who based on their conscience, occupied the Legislative Yuan on the evening of 18 March 2014.  Their motivation is to demonstrate their love for Taiwan and protect Taiwan’s democracy against the government’s lack of transparency; this student movement is symbolically known as the “Black Box” in Taiwan.
At the same time, the PCT affirms the support of countless students, civil organizations and political parties from across the island which also joined in this protracted struggle. These initiatives created a momentous opportunity for Taiwan’s democratization, heightened the concern for Taiwan’s public affairs, and prevented using the economy and commerce to threaten Taiwan’s independence and sovereignty.
At the instruction of President Ma Ying-Jeou, the ruling party (KMT Kuo-min-tang) Legislator, Chang Ching-Chung, co-convenor of the legislature’s Internal Administrative Committee (IAC), announced without discussion that the Pact had passed the IAC review and would be sent to the legislative floor for consideration.  After the announcement, he adjourned the IAC catching the legislators by surprise. Chang’s actions are in serious violation of due process and represent the habitual bullying tactic of using majority rule to ram through measures that favor the ruling party and its business interests. Dismissing the inalienable right and privilege of the people of Taiwan, these actions are reminiscent of the dictatorship era and threaten to destroy the democratization that took years to construct.
The PCT’s deep concern for Taiwan’s future is rooted in its faith.  On August 16, 1977, it issued “The PCT Statement on Human Rights” stressing that Taiwan must be a new independent nation and that this future must be based on a national plebiscite. This position is also based on the PCT Confession of Faith which states that “the church is called through love and suffering to become a sign of hope”. Many of PCT leaders and members participate in these demonstrations and activities to witness to their faith and to protect and preserve our country—Taiwan.
Our church, therefore:
1.  Affirm the students to continue their non-violent public demonstration requesting the Ma Ying-Jeou administration to rescind the trade and service pact in respect of Taiwan’s democratic rule.

2.  Appeals to all the PCT leaders and members to take concrete action to participate in activities that protect and preserve Taiwan’s democracy; and to continue to pray fervently for all the young students, civil organizations and the general public involved in the demonstrations.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
but when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2 [RSV]
Rev. Hsu Rong-Feng Rev.                                       Lyim Hong-Tiong
PCT Moderator 58th General Assembly PCT General Secretary

 

 

English translation based on the Chinese Original Issued on 25 March 2014 by the General Assembly Executive Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.  Contact:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March  31 - April 6, 2014

Headline News

 

Against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, Over 500,000 Occupy Katagalan Boulevard

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

On March 30, hundreds of thousands citizens and youth wore in black emerged on the Taipei streets, they overwhelmingly occupied the Katagalan Boulevard before the President's Office Building. Leaders of the Sunflower Student Movement estimated there were over 500,000 people attended, yet some media even estimated the number probably over 700,000. Anyway, either from the mobilized population or the social meanings embedded, this rally would definitely be the most spectacular student movement ever in Taiwan history.

 

 

"Turn Down CSSTA(Cross-Strait Service And Trade Agreement)!", and "Audit-Law First, Then Law-Making!" were slogans chanted vibrantly by these black shirts rallies. Lin Fei-fan, protest student leader, told to the crowd that students would keep occupying the congress as Ma Ying-jeou regime did not deliver any concrete response except empty words. Lin urged President Ma to submit himself to the command of the people, turn down CSSTA and establish audit-law for any future agreement between China and Taiwan. In a mega-choir singing the lyric, Island's Sunrise, this unprecedented crowd rally automatically mobilized within 3 days ended up in a warm, encouraging and peaceful aura.

 

 

PCT General Assembly, together with the Sunflower Choir composed of local Presbyterian churches and affiliated institutes, like Chi-nan, Suan-lien and Yi-gon  Presbyterian churches, Youth ministry of Paiwan Presbytery and Mackay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management and etc, held a united service in front of the Legislative Yuan(Taiwan's congress) on 11:00 a.m. in March 30. Rev. Zeng Kuo-chong, pastor of Justice Action Church, delivering his sermon titled as "Tear Down the Government!", pointed out that once CSSTA could be allowed to pass, the Taiwan  people's dream to become an "new and independent country" would absolutely dash away. Zeng urged PCT members to fight a good fight for God's justice and peace to be realized in Taiwan. Finally, Rev. Hsu Rong-fong, General Assembly Moderator, accomplished the service in his bless and prayer.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Over 500,000 people from across the island in black shirts, responding to the calling of Sunflower Student Movement, rallied around Taipei's Katagalan Boulevard to protest against the black box law-making of CSSTA in the afternoon on March 30, 2014.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

A Sunday service was held in front of the Legislative Yuan, together with several local Presbyterian churches, institutes and the Sunflower Choir, pledging PCT's stance against CSSTA in black box.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March  31 - April 6, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Ecumenical Churches Express Concern About Taiwan Sunflower Movement

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

In the afternoon on March 30, at the major stage of the assembly named Occupy Katagalan Boulevard, Rev. Lyim Hung-tiong(PCT General Secretary) with his English secretary Ms. Carys Humphreys were invited by the students and citizen groups to delivered messages and concerns from PCT and ecumenical church before 500,000 assembly.

 

Rev. Lyim publicly promised to the assembly that PCT will absolutely stand by the students and Taiwan people via a peaceful and non-violent way fighting against the black box Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement. Lyim said PCT had issued two public statement, one affirmation of the students' protest and the other condemning the violence from the state, sending toward the ecumenical churches and institutes. Up to date, many affirmative response from PCUSA(Presbyterian Church of USA), URC(United Reformed Church of UK) and many other Asian-Pacific ecumenical organizations, confirming PCT's efforts to stand by the students and Taiwan people, has greatly encouraged PCT's witness to this movement. PCUSA also expressed that they would urge UN and American Congress to concern the development of this student movement.

 

Ms. Carys Humphreys said, seeing so many young students standing out on the streets, she felt Taiwan is still hopeful! From her 28 years' experience of social service in Taiwan, even there were indeed rough times on the way from military rule toward democracy, Humphreys remarked that Taiwan always walks in the light from God as so many brave Taiwanese utilizing their flesh and blood to witness the resilient strength of hope.

 

Finally, Humphreys passed the greetings from Rev. Kao Jung-min who were in ill and read the statement from URC : "We pledge to stand with you as partners in Christ's mission of justice and peace. The right to peaceful protest is a cornerstone of democracy and we call upon the Government of Taiwan to listen to the voice of their own people". After this letter was read, the assembly gave their utmost applauds in return.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Rev. Lyim Hung-tiong and Ms. Carys Humphreys delivered the affirmation and support from PCT and ecumenical churches on the main stage of Occupy Katagalan Boulevard Movement on March 30, 2014.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News

3239 Edition

March 24 - March 30, 2014

Editorial

 

Editorial: When The Righteous Are In Authority, The People Rejoice

 

"Wielding their blades threatening to kill anyone on their way, a band of gangster in their flags of "Kim", "Ma" and "Jiang" roam across the town showing their muscle. Those who are patronized and benefited under these bad guys give their enthusiastic support and try to get more crumbs falling from their table. Most innocent people feel furious, yet their sporadic resistance amounts to nothing. Like an army invades into a no-man land, with the applaud by the locally privileged agent and merchant, this band of gangster arrogantly order the whole town to submit their precious treasures as trophy. To everybody's surprise, some children and juvenile rise up without any weapon to bite those gangsters' hands and fight with them. The adult are greatly encouraged to join and fight back. Suddenly the conciliatory atmosphere to cope with the gangster's blackmail go down, it seems the dawn of victory via the peaceful and non-violent way is feasible...". Hi, everyone, this is the story very similar to our Taiwan society. How and where the story will go and end up, it depends on your writing and action!

 

Let's retrieve so many protests within the last year: forced demolition of Ta-pu Chang Pharmacy and Hwa-kuan Community, training abuse of Corporal Hung Chung-chiu, power abuse of Special Investigation Division, BOT scandal of the traditional preserve land in Thao the Aboriginal, anti-graveyard movement of Katibu tribe(Puyuma) and Kararuan tribe(Amis), anti-nuclear movement across Taiwan, the stigmatized prosecution and government's civil lawsuits against the lay-off workers and etc, either we sigh in sadness or yell on the street, this government just got paralyzed without a bit of sympathy. Until the 30 seconds' brutal legalization of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, a bill relevant to millions of service labor yet without any due process in the so-called holy but actually sanguinary congress, hundreds of young students wary about Taiwan's future practiced their civil disobdience to occupy the parliament from March 18. Later, thousands of students and professors from colleges and universities flocked around the congress to demonstrate their protest.

 

At the very beginning of this event of occupying the congress, PCT General Assembly together with pastors and evangelists from local PCT churches and youth ministry went into the congress and join the occupying demonstration with students. Students of three PCT seminaries and the students of Ever Green Fellowship(Student Fellowship in PCT Youth Ministry) also took part into this protest.

 

PCT, therefore, expressed her statement about this historical event as follows:

 

" The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) affirms the non-violent action of many students who based on their conscience, occupied the Legislative Yuan on the evening of 18 March 2014.  Their motivation is to demonstrate their love for Taiwan and protect Taiwan’s democracy against the government’s lack of transparency; this student movement is symbolically known as the “Black Box” in Taiwan.

 

At the same time, the PCT affirms the support of countless students, civil organizations and political parties from across the island which also joined in this protracted struggle. These initiatives created a momentous opportunity for Taiwan’s democratization, heightened the concern for Taiwan’s public affairs, and prevented using the economy and commerce to threaten Taiwan’s independence and sovereignty.

 

The PCT’s deep concern for Taiwan’s future is rooted in its faith.  On August 16, 1977, it issued “The PCT Statement on Human Rights” stressing that Taiwan must be a new independent nation and that this future must be based on a national plebiscite. This position is also based on the PCT Confession of Faith which states that “the church is called through love and suffering to become a sign of hope”. Many of PCT leaders and members participate in these demonstrations and activities to witness to their faith and to protect and preserve our country—Taiwan.

 

Our church, therefore:

 

1.  Affirm the students to continue their non-violent public demonstration requesting the Ma Ying-Jeou administration to rescind the trade and service pact in respect of Taiwan’s democratic rule.

 

2.  Appeals to all the PCT leaders and members to take concrete action to participate in activities that protect and preserve Taiwan’s democracy; and to continue to pray fervently for all the young students, civil organizations and the general public involved in the demonstrations.

 

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;

but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:2


 
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Taiwan Church News
3239 Edition
March 24 - March 30, 2014
Church Ministry News

CWM Held Retreat In Taiwan, Visiting PCT Church And Her Affiliated Institutes

Reported by Lin Yi-ying
From March 17 to 20, Council of World Mission(CWM), whose HQ was located in Singapore, held a staff retreat in Taiwan. With an interest to learn PCT's missionary ministries, CWM staff went to visit Changhua Christian Hospital, Tektung Church, Joyce-Agape Association and the Sdringan Presbyterian Church in Seedig Bale District.
In the morning of March 17, Rev. KyungIn Kim( Deputy General Secretary of CWM ) with her staff visited PCT HQ office. She exchanged with Rev. Hsu Rong-fong (PCT Genral Assembly Moderator) and Rev. Lyim Hung-tiong (PCT General Secretary) and many PCT committee secretaries about the missionary ministries in CWM and PCT respectively.

Rev. Kim appreciated PCT's arrangement and hospitality on many ways of assistance in preparing this retreat and visit. She felt a sense of home, especially when warmly received by PCT's coworkers to taste some Taiwanese famous dishes. She expressed that the cooperation between CWM and PCT were like a families shared together on the table. So close and so good in the love of God!

Translated by Peter Wolfe
 
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Taiwan Church News

3239 Edition

March 24 - March 30, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Thousands Of People Across Taiwan Island Voiced Their Protest Against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement With China

 

Reported by Chen Yi-shuang / Simon Lin / Chiu Kuo-rong / Hwang Yi-lek

 

From March 20th to 23rd, thousands of young students and citizens in the four major cities from Taipei to Kaohsiung, stood out together to express their furious protest against KMT's outrageous package law-making within 30 seconds and Ma administration's opaque negotiations with China on the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA). Their four main appeals are: Re-negotiate CSSTA! Against Black Box Negotiation! Oversight Law First and Then Law-Making! Protect Taiwan's Democracy!

 

Over 5000 students and citizens, rallied on Nylon Plaza at National Cheng Kong University in the evening of March 20th, chanting "Against Black Box! Turn Down CSSTA! Re-Start Negotiation! So Powerful is Citizen United!". When the students and teachers of Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS) presented their chorus singing the song, Let's connect our hands to protect our Taiwan composed by Rev. Dr. Loh I-to, Rev. Lyim Bun-tiat lead a prayer on behalf for the assembly crowd to bless Taiwan.

 

Ms. Liu Lu-na, organizer of the assembly at Nylon Plaza, expressed when the students just broke into the Congress building and occupied the meeting hall, through the Facebook community she only expected to summon about 30 people to show up and demonstrate their support in front of Tainan Railway Station. But, beyond her expectation, as floods of people thumbed up their approval and shared this assembly message, she had to urgently moved eastward to the Nylon Plaza to accommodate volumes of people.

 

Ms. Wang Jau-wen, a TTCS historian, shared her feelings in Nylon Plaza and said she was both encouraged by the brave action of the students and felt frustrated by our bumbler President and inefficient congress. "Why CSSTA would come like a thief in stealth?", questioned Wang. She urged more young people to stand up against the black box CSSTA, as this bill is very critical to the future of Taiwan.

 

As a matter of fact, lots of students took part into this crowd assembly at Nylon Plaza from different colleges, universities and high schools, including National Cheng Kong University, Tainan First Senior High School, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy & Science, Tainan University of Technology, Chang Jung Girls' Senior High School, National Pingtung University of Education and etc.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Protesting students and citizens, who were gathered at Nylon Plaza of NCKU on March 20th, stretched their arms to pledge against Ma regime's black box negotiations on CSSTA and show their support of the student's civil disobedience to occupy the congress building on March 18th.

Photo by Chen Yi-shuang

 

Rev. Zeng Kuo-chon(left most), pastor of Taipei Justice Action Church, leading a Sunday Service - "God Bless Us to March Forward, As His Kingdom Comes" - at the front gate of the occupied congress at 2:28 pm of March 23rd. Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong(4th from right), PCT General Secretary, with his co-workers, also attended this service.

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

Over 5,000 people, assembled at Taichung Citizen Plaza in the evening of March 20th, chanted "Send Back CSSTA! Against Black Box Negotiation! Turn Down CSSTA and Re-negotiate!"

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek

 

Demonstrators chanted their protests with cardboard messages as "Citizen Wake Up, Taiwan!" at Kaohsiung's Central Park on March 20th.

Photo by Simon Lin

 

Even the children in baby stroller joined the demonstration, held at Kaohsiung's Central Park on March 20th, asking the armored police to retreat from the parliamentary complex where the students had occupied since March 18th.

Photo by Simon Lin

 

 


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