June 18-24, 2012
Anti-price hike rally takes place in Taipei via rock music and Sunday worship
Reported by Sam Lee
Written by Lydia Ma
“You don’t care about the angry shouts of Taiwanese people and force us to eat US beef. You don’t care about people committing suicide and insist on increasing the price of fuel and energy. You don’t care about people’s poverty and go on spending money on centennial celebrations. You don’t care about democracy in Taiwan and continue embracing China!” sang Jesus Rocks lead singer Chu Yueh-hsin during a concert in Taipei on June 17, 2012. Chu is the lead singer of Jesus Rocks, a popular gospel rock band in Taiwan, and his band was invited to perform as part of a protest rally against price hikes.
The protest began with a worship service led by Taiwan Justice Action Church. It took place just outside of the Legislative Yuan, which is also near Chinan Presbyterian Church. PCT Church and Society Committee Secretary Huang Che-yen gave the message based on the book of Amos, which he entitled “Justice, Fairness, New Country”. He underscored that 800 years before Christ’s birth, the prophet Amos had already seen much corruption in the nation of Israel. People were greedy and many were oppressing the poor. Amos warned that the nation of Israel would be destroyed unless justice was restored and the people returned to God’s ways.
Huang said that a similar situation is taking place in Taiwan. Not only are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, the recent increase in the price of fuel and energy are geared at maintaining perks enjoyed by officials at Taiwan Power Corporation and China Petroleum Corporation, as well as covering their losses due to mismanagement. In contrast, the people’s sufferings and hardships are continually ignored. Furthermore, though Taiwanese want more democracy and human rights, they are at the same time mistreating foreign workers and immigrants and must repent of their deeds.
Members from the Student Christian Movement of Hong Kong (SCMHK) were visiting Taiwan at the time and they attended the service and rally on that day. They were eager to learn about Justice Action Church and see what a church without walls looked like. They put on the bandannas people were wearing at the time, which bore the words “Lord, Taiwanese are really suffering!”
When interviewed, SCMHK General Secretary Liu Chien-ling commented that she was surprised to find that the majority of the people who attend Justice Action Church are middle-aged and that they find rock music acceptable. She said that this was very different from social movements in Hong Kong that featured rock music for they would only be attended by youths. Though not a music expert, she said that using rock music to worship God was very interesting and powerful.
Photo by Sam Lee