Taiwan Church News

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Archives
E-mail Print

Taiwan Church News

3252 Edition

June 23 - June 29, 2014

Headline News


Protesting Assembly Held For Cross Strait Service Trade Acts Signed One Year On


Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong


On June 21 2013, betraying the will of the Taiwanese, Ma Ying-jeou regime secretly signed with China the treaty of Cross Strait Service Trade Acts(CSSTA). In spite of erupting a series of protests in Taiwan island wide, like 318  Student Movement and a huge crowd assembly of five hundred thousands people on March 30 2014, under no consent from Taiwan society Ma regime still insists to pass the exclusive KMT version of CSSTA, the Special Act For Free Economic Pilot Zones(FEPZs) and the Supervisory Act of Cross Strait Agreement. Therefore, to awaken Taiwan society's consciousness and remember the day people were betrayed one year on, three student groups - Black Tide Union of Democratic Students, Black Island Youth Front and Struggling For Democracy - jointly hold a protesting assembly by the congress in the night on June 21 2014.


Wei Young, student leader and representative of these student groups, remarks that the main purpose of this assembly is to stop the law-making of the KMT version of CSSTA, the Special Act For Free Economic Pilot Zones(FEPZs) and the Supervisory Act of Cross Strait Agreement within the impending Provisional Congress Assembly in this summer, as these bills will seriously damage the sovereignty and interests of Taiwan as a country.


Ru Chung-chin, President of Taiwan Professors Association(TPA), points out the day Ma Ying-jeou signed CSSTA with China is also the day Ma regime lost her legitimacy. And it declared the revolutionary reform that Taiwan people will take back their rights resolutely. The real essence of CSSTA, though with an flamboyant free-trade slogan, is the complex and dirty exchange of politico-economical interests between KMT and the China Communist Party. The interests of Taiwan people will be exploited down to nothing accordingly.


Suffice it not yet enough, Ma further pushes the Special Act for FEPZs to facilitate his dream to draw China closer. As what could be done by the Special Acts of FEPZs can also be done by the the already established Act of Free Harbor Area, the only reasonable explanation of Ma's FEPZs is to speed up the Chinese conglomerate financial groups to flood into Taiwan. It not only aroused the fear of Trojan horse effects on CSSTA, but also on the future "Cargo Trade Acts" to be negotiated, as it would accelerate the actual immigration from China to Taiwan and do a lots of harm than benefits.


Ru said that Ma regime is selling Taiwan piecemeal: making fuss of Taiwan economics without taking any responsibilities; offering franchised privileges to Chinese capitalism without supervision. Reflecting the heavy tasks ahead for Taiwan civil groups, Ru urges citizens should not only stand up to protect Taiwan economics but also fight for Taiwan's sovereignty, as Ma regime is steep within her illusion and keeps using propaganda to cheat Taiwanese people.


Su Beng, the 95-years-old godfather theorist of the left-wing Taiwan Independence Movement, speaks to the audience that the students awakened to learn the difference between Taiwan and China after 318 Student Movement. And the proposal that the Republic of China belongs to the Taiwanese is wrong-headed, as it is not Taiwanese Nationalism which means the future of the Taiwanese are composed (a) politically, we have to build our country, (b) economically, ours is national economics, and (c) culturally, we have a multi-ethnics culture. And to achieve these goals, first is clear head, second determined heart, third requires strategy and tactics and fourth a long life.


Representative of Aboriginal Youth Front, speaking for the Taiwanese aboriginals, points out that the voice of the aboriginal needs to be heard within Taiwan society. Only with a will to acknowledge and understand the opinions from the marginalized aboriginals, can we say we are the families. Otherwise, even if Taiwan independence can be realized some day, that could be just another hegemonic alien power inflicting their will and domination on the Taiwan aboriginals.


Translated by Peter Wolfe


A flag of "Taiwan People Stand Up Fearlessly!" waving in the anniversary assembly, organized and hosted by three student movement groups, protesting the signature of CSSTA one year on by the Legislative Yuan at Taipei on June 21st 2014.


Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong


E-mail Print

Taiwan Church News

3251 Edition

June 16 - June 22, 2014

Headline News



Missionary Paradigms in Taiwan Are Retrieved And Commemorated At PCT Tai-chung Presbytery



In order to call back the spirit of historical honor on PCT's pioneering missionaries, Tai-chung presbytery hosts a lecture named "PCT in Taiwan" during her training assembly of elders and deacons at Tsau-tun Presbyterian Church on June 15th. Rev. Dr. Zeng Yang-en, a church history professor of Taiwan Theological Seminary, is invited to deliver the historical contributions of PCT's founding missionaries and faith forebears.


"The early history of Taiwan church, representing a spirit of 'burn out rather than rust out' , was in fact a martyr history under oppression and persecution", said Zeng, as evidenced by the first oppression at Bi-tau in 1868 and seven churches built by Rev. Mackay were destroyed in 1884. And all these accidents were related to contemporary feelings against the Western colonial powers. Christians also suffered misunderstanding and persecution during the ruling of Japanese government.


In spite of these persecutions, missionaries still contributed lots of innovative revolutions in the field of medicine, education and media to Taiwan society. For example, a three-times Caesarean delivery for a merchant's pregnant wife, reported by Tainan's '369 Tabloid', was introduced by Missionary Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell; anatomy of animal brain or heart, like goat or pig, was taught at Missionary Mackay's Seminary. And the most significant contribution of Rev. Dr. Thomas Barclay is his campaign for the Romanization of Amoy Vernarcular popular in Taiwan society then and the Bible translation afterwards, said Zeng.


Local Christian leaders gradually became the elites of Taiwan society at the high time under Japanese ruing, as the lifting of education level and the improvement of social living standard were the trend of the global Christianity then. This is evidenced by the fact: Christians were only 1% of Taiwan population, yet Christian students represented about one quarter of the medicine school and two-fifths of total overseas students to Europe and America.


But about Japanese aggressive militarism, contrasting Taiwan church's lack of reflection against Korean and Manchurian Christians' revolts and even martyrs, Zeng criticizes that it is due to Taiwan church is still too young to stand up independently and the founding missionaries did not emphasize the consciousness and courage of faith.


Still, the development of Taiwan's democracy is much facilitated by the wonderful witness and participation from the brave missionaries, like Rev. George Todd, speaking for the voiceless Taiwanese in the oppressive 1960s and listed by KMT regime as a persona non grata; Rev. Milo Thornberry with his ex-wife Judith Thomas, helping reknown Professor Peng Ming-min flee KMT's control and fly to Europe.


Zeng concludes that our pioneering missionaries has bequeathed PCT a very wonderful tradition and valuable legacy, worthy for us to inherit and learn from them. Though there are many signs of sufferings engraved in their lives, they are the glorious badge and hope for Taiwan's democracy and freedom.


Translated by Peter Wolfe


Professor Zeng Yang-en delivered an introduction to the missionary histories and paradigms in Taiwan, on the training assembly of elders and deacons of Tai-chung Presbytery at Tsau-tun Presbyterian Church on June 15th.


Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan


One of old pictures, shown by Professor Zeng, illustrating PCT's missionary effort after WWII to increase aboriginal believers 20 folds within 20 years to reach 100,000 in 1960s.


Photo supplied by Hwang Yi-ek and The Church Historical Archives of Taiwan Theological College and Seminary


E-mail Print

Taiwan Church News

3250 Edition

June 9 - June 15, 2014



Editorial: Koinonia! Yes, If You Want To


Looking back into Taiwan's missionary history, the name of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan does not exist from the very beginning inside the pioneering missionaries' mind. It appeared after 40 years of evangelical works at the 2nd Taiwan Church Assembly in 1913. And within the whole PCT history, there were three joint efforts seeking the unity between South and North Assemblies: first was the Taiwan Assembly, which were organized in 1912 by the missionaries; second was the General Assembly, established in 1943 and driven by political force under the Japanese ruling; third was the up-to-date General Assembly, re-uniting both South and North assemblies in 1951. There were respective historical backgrounds and reasons behind each unity in the modern history of PCT. But, the questions are: why PCT needs three waves of unity movement to become what she is now? what is the vision behind these efforts?


The reason, why the first Taiwan Church Assembly could be set up by the pioneering missionaries across different mission society, is due to an urgent demand for a closer cooperation relationship in evangelical ministries. Otherwise, different mission societies could still develop their own ministries in their own ways, without worrying about the issue of unity as frequent  interactions and contacts were already there. Rev. Shoki Coe, who is a young pastor just returned from England, speaking at the Youth Convention in 1947: "We should act like the omelet....You have to break the outer egg cover, smash and blend into one, then you can cook a wonderful omelet." This explains the importance of the unity between churches and facilitate the establishment of PCT General Assembly. Up to now, we are still trying to learn the unity task of "break, smash and blend into one" in our daily lives.


"To break, smash and blend into one" means a brand new process to let down one's own subjective point of view, listen to the other and work out a new idea or action. In terms of familiar phrase, you can name it as a "common imagined community"; or in the ecclesiastical language, you can name it as a "koinonia". Within this new perspective, koinonia, be it the Taiwan Assembly set up by the pioneering missionaries or current PCT General Assembly, all PCT members need become a common community: share, cry and witness together. No more stick to our idiosyncratic characteristics of our local congregations, presbytery or even our denomination, we have to break and smash kinds of parochial self-made limitation and blend into one koinonia. From a holistic Taiwan perspective, we can start to see our mission and role within our community and tribe.


Let us remind each other that we are in the koinonia under the name of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. We are an intimate group of fellowship. We need to help each other, understand and forgive each other, pray for each other and care for each other. This is koinonia! And it is exactly: Yes, if you want... to break, smash and blend into our local congregation, presbytery and General Assembly!



Page 2 of 150


mod_vvisit_counterThis week1355
mod_vvisit_counterThis month256
mod_vvisit_counterThis month302167

Who's online

We have 4 guests online