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3133 Edition
March 12-18, 2012
Headline News

PCT joins protesters at March 11 rally against nuclear energy

Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong

Written by Lydia Ma

On the first anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and led to reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, major cities in Taiwan such as Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung held mass rallies to urge the Ma administration to halt the construction of nuclear power plants and the use of nuclear energy. “We don’t want nuclear power, give us green power!” shouted protesters.

The anti-nuclear energy rally in Taipei began at 2:00 p.m. at Lungshan Temple where protesters enacted various scenarios in case of a nuclear meltdown, including siren sounds, explosions and deaths on impact. The crowd reached Ketagalan Boulevard  around 4:00 p.m. and raised their anti-nuclear energy banners and flags in front of the Presidential Palace to call for the scrapping of Nuclear Power Plant No. 4, which is currently under construction.

“We must use our own strength to tell the government loudly that we want zero nuclear power and zero nuclear disasters,” said PCT Church and Society Committee Secretary Ng Tiat-gan (Huang Che-yen) when he was interviewed just before the rally began. He added that in spite of the nuclear accident in Japan, President Ma Ying-jeou has not relented efforts to build Nuclear Power Plant No.4 and even increased the budget allotted for it. Such callousness toward Taiwanese also explains why he is comfortable with allowing U.S. beef containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine to enter Taiwan despite much controversy.

Huang, who studied in Japan for 1 year and still keeps in touch with friends who are now Japanese pastors, heard his friends say that residents living within a 30 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant now live with a constant sense of frustration and sorrow. A recent government conducted poll also showed that 82% of local students who have yet to enter senior high school do not want to continue studying in Fukushima.

Huang added that residents in Fukushima now stay mostly indoor, behind tightly shut doors and windows, and very few venture outside for sunlight – they all live as though under house arrest. Seeing their tragic lives, Huang wondered if Taiwanese would ever desire to be in the same situation as Fukushima residents.

PCT Associate General Secretary Lyim Hong-tiong said that the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima served as a wake-up call for the entire world, prompting the international community to seriously consider a future without nuclear energy. PCT has always advocated for a country free of nuclear energy and issued such a statement as early as 1992. For this reason, PCT Church and Society Committee will join other organizations in this emerging movement against nuclear energy. “We should carry on this movement until the day nuclear energy is abolished,” he said.

 

 
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3133 Edition
March 12-18, 2012
Headline News

Religious groups leaders support 311 rally against nuclear energy with a joint press conference

Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong, Lin Yi-ying

Written by Lydia Ma

“We urge the government to value life and banish fear and disaster by creating a nuclear-free homeland soon!” urged leaders from various religious groups at a joint press conference on March 8, 2012. This press conference was held in preparation for the March 11 Anti-Nuclear Rally arranged to coincide with the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that led to a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.

Leaders from various religious traditions joined together to advocate a halt to the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity because of the harm nuclear wastes and accidents inflict on future generations. The press conference concluded with every delegate offering a prayer of blessing according to his religious traditions.

Religious leaders present at this press conference included Buddhist priest Shih Chao-hwei, Taoist priest Lee Yu-kun, Taipei Grand Mosque Executive Secretary Ismail Wang, Chinese Muslim Association Imam Ishaq al-Ibrahimi Ma, Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary President Pusin Tali, and PCT Church and Society Committee Secretary Huang Che-yen (Ng Tiat-gan). They had come together to speak out on their religious stance against nuclear energy.

Pusin Tali said that Taiwan Power Company lied to Tao indigenous groups in 1974 when it told them that it planned to build a can company in Orchid Island that would create job opportunities for them and help them have greater access to canned goods. However, when nuclear wastes began to be shipped into Orchid Island, Tao residents in Orchid Island became suspicious and wondered why cans from the mainland were so big in size. When they discovered that they had been lied to, it was too late and they were forced to accept these nuclear wastes. For this reason, they have since referred to nuclear wastes as evil spirits.

 

 
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3133 Edition
March 12-18, 2012
Editorial

Editorial: A reflection on theological contextualization

Translated by Lydia Ma

When John Calvin founded the first Reformed Church college in Geneva in 1559, graduates from this college were lauded for their impeccable moral character, diligence in study, and passion for missions. In 1876, Presbyterian Church of England missionary Rev. Thomas Barclay journeyed to Taiwan and founded the first Reformed Church college in Tainan City with the goal that it would produce graduates that would be lauded for the same reasons. This college was later christened Tainan Theological College and Seminary (TTCS).

The most important aspects of theological formation is to nurture a sense of mission and a life of commitment. A Christian’s personal values should be based upon the values taught and reflected by Jesus Christ. For this reason, when our cultural values collide with these Christian values, introspection ensues and it is such introspection that makes theological formation valuable. The ultimate purpose of theological formation is to instill a sense of lifelong commitment, diligent study, impeccable character, and passion for serving people.

When TTCS installed Shoki Coe as its first Taiwanese President at the end of World War II, Coe began to actively promote contextual thinking so that the theological curricula in Taiwanese seminaries would be both ecumenical and rooted in Taiwan. As result, seminarians who studied at TTCS at that time not only played an important role in leading Taiwanese churches in the drafting of the “Statement on Our National Fate” in 1971 and the “Declaration on Human Rights” in 1977, but also became the earliest proponents of Homeland Theology. Homeland Theology is centered on Taiwanese indigenous movements and their struggle for freedom from China’s hegemonic culture. It is Taiwan’s own version of Exodus and its pilgrimage into “Canaan” – a land of blessing for all ethnic groups in Taiwan.

As we remember TTCS Sunday, it is our hope that theological formation can retain its mission of being rooted in God and Taiwan because theology that is not scrutinized under the lens of theological contextualization can easily become a tool for personal gain but such scrutiny can strengthen and deepen Christian values and theological formation.

TTCS has a long tradition of excelling in a wide array of disciplines, including contextual preaching, church music, and social ministries that support marginalized groups. If we can now stay attuned to the needs of the time and train pastors to excel in a wide array of disciplines, such as social work or church music or church archives, we will be well-equipped for the years to come as Taiwan copes with challenges such as economic fluctuations and low birth rate trends.

We are confident that the training our students have been receiving in contextualizing theology will encourage and lead Christians in Taiwan to live a committed life and also impact theological formation in the future.   

 


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