April 16-22, 2012
Milo Thornberry’ keynote address highlights past history of Taiwan and future mission of the PCT
Reported Sam Lee, Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma
Rev. Milo Thornberry, an advocate for democracy in Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s and a key player in helping Peng Ming-min smuggle out of Taiwan safely, was invited to give a keynote address at the PCT 57th General Assembly on April 12, 2012. Thornberry spoke on how his faith played a crucial role in his mission to advance Taiwanese democracy during those years and encouraged Taiwanese Christians to follow Jesus’ example as told in the Parable of the Good Samaritan by devoting themselves to righteousness and justice and caring for Taiwanese society.
Many of the people Thornberry had worked with or helped in the past while he was still in Taiwan were in the audience on the day he delivered his address entitled “People I’ve met on the ‘Jericho’ road”, including former PCT General Secretary C.M. Kao and his wife Ruth, and Peng Ming-min and his wife, and they wiped away tears as they reminisced the past. Thornberry referred to Kao, who was imprisoned soon after the Kaohsiung Incident, and other political prisoners who sacrificed their lives for Taiwan as “good Samaritans” who practiced what they believed.
Recounting his experience, Thornberry said that meeting with Peng had opened his eyes to the corrupt and ruthless nature of the KMT and such a revelation compelled him to alert Amnesty International later on with a list of political prisoners. When he realized that Peng was in danger of being assassinated, he arranged to have Peng smuggled out of Taiwan and sent to Sweden for safety.
Recalling how many people advised him to stay out of the political affairs of another country, Thornberry said that such a reasoning would have ensured his safety, but added, “I love my country and I thank my church for sending me to Taiwan. But my conscience tells me that I cannot stand by and see these injustices happen without doing something about them. If I ignore these things, I become an accomplice. Because of my convictions, I have decided to take action.”
Thornberry underscored that the future of Taiwan is filled with obstacles and many challenges remain. For this reason, Taiwan needs more “Good Samaritans” who are willing to take a stand for justice and love this nation enough to do their utmost to set her free. “Only Taiwanese people have the right to determine their own future!” he said.
In related news, 34 guests representing various churches and Christian organizations around the world attended this year’s PCT Annual Convention. Delegates from Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, U.S.A, Canada and more met with the General Assembly Moderator Rev. Pusin Tali at a breakfast meeting scheduled in the morning of April 11. Pusin Tali gave a brief introduction of PCT ministries at that meeting to help these representatives know more about the PCT and its ministries and the meeting was followed by a tour of the hospital led by CCH Superintendent Kuo Shou-jen.
To read the full text of Thornberry’s address, go to PCT website (English section) or click on the following link: http://english.pct.org.tw/enNews_pct.aspx?strBlockID=B00176&strContentid=C2012041700007&strCTID=&strDesc=Y&strPub=&strASP=enNews_pct