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Taiwan Church News

3383 Edition

26 December 2016 - 1 January 2017

Editorial

 

They Do Not Know What They Are Doing

 

According to a recent social survey, published by the Ipsos "Index of ignorance" Table, Taiwan is ranked the third most ignorant country in the world. This news becomes a hot issue in Taiwan society. As the design of such a social survey is found being conducted through internet only and quite inclined toward a middle-class perspective, most Taiwan media see this news as a humorous reminder and not take it seriously.

But, about the same time when this survey is released, breaks out the coverage of the irksome Nazi cosplay event, occurred at an anniversary celebration of Hsin Chu Kuang Fu High School on December 23, incurring the strongest protests immediately from both Israeli and German diplomatic offices in Taiwan. This shockingly deplorable and regrettable cosplay about the Nazi symbols forces Taiwan society to reflect if it's no surprise that Taiwan deserves a title of the third most ignorant country in the world?

As a matter of fact, not only the Nazi cosplay event trespasses the red line of human rights in the high school's anniversary celebration, another cosplay imitating the Musha Incident in the same Kuang Fu High School is also a disappointing performance when the master of the ceremony help to raise the voice:"Down the japs, restore the Chinese!". The strange part of this slogan is not just using the "japs" to mock the Japanese, but an absolutely wrong historical knowledge mistaking an aboriginal Seediq revolt against the Japanese military oppression as a warfare of the Chinese fighting modern Japanese forces. What a poisonous effects left behind by any educational policy immersed in authoritarianism!

Though the Holocaust is the most heinous crime ever committed by the Nazi in human history, a very embarrassing fact about the Nazi cosplay in Kuang Fu High School is that the supervising teacher of those cosplay students is a history teacher and plays Hitler himself in the cosplay parade. Taiwan society is even more stunned by some students' urge to support their school's original stance after their principal and the responsible officials had made their formal apology to the public. It is obvious that there is something critically out of track in Taiwan's history education!

An open letter of Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei(IECOT) urges Taiwan government to arrange a proper education plan, informing Taiwan students the genuine historical significance of the Holocaust. And, if there is anything needs their support, IECOT would help. German Institute in Taipei also remarks, "Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression".

Condemnation, in fact, would do nothing positive to rescue Taiwan society from these stunning chaos. On the contrary, it could be easily cause a further temptation of self-righteousness, as our shallow knowledge of history is a common crooked nature inside of us. When Jesus was surrounded by those onlookers, played the clown by the soldiers, and even scoffed by the leaders saying "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!", we as the followers of the Lord Christ also need to meditate what Jesus said at the moment of his crucifixion: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing!".

Just like Jesus sacrificed himself at the moment of human's ignorant evil, Christians as the pardoned sinners were also very vulnerable to the demagogic ignorance and evil in history. In some radically chaotic days, some Christians even succumbed themselves to the temptation of self-righteousness and violence and forgot their true color as the sinners. So, when the complacent Christians lost their initial hearts, the only salvation is to turn back and confess before God. Only through recognizing our sin and ignorance, a soft heart of compassion and love could be back!

 
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Taiwan Church News

3383 Edition

26 December 2016 - 1 January 2017

Church Ministries

 

Rev Omi Wilang: A Huge Gap Exists Between President's Tsai Aboriginal Policy And Its Execution

 

Reported by Lin Chia-jin

 

Reflecting President Tsai's official apology and political promises to Taiwan's aboriginal peoples on August 1, The Aboriginal People Day hence after, Rev Omi Wilang - secretary of PCT Indigenous Mission Committee - expressed his deep disappointment in a recent interview that there was a huge gap existed between President Tsai's aboriginal policy and its execution. He hoped the responsible officials could show their audacity to carry out those aboriginal policies solemnly pledged by the President and desperately desired by the aboriginal people.

Criticizing President Tsai's inappropriate or awkward U-turn on three sincere promises: 1) nuclear waste to move out of the Orchid; 2) legal re-establishment of the traditional aborigine reserve; 3) setup of Aboriginal Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee under the President Office, which were pledged to solve in President's apology and pledges on August 1, Rev Omi Wilang urged Tsai administration to check if the execution of these promises had been went wrong?

According to Rev Omi Wilang, central government's current stance of nuclear waste on the Orchid - to re-organize a truth finding committee on nuclear waste - is apparently to put off the schedule of solution, as the rental contract signed between the government and the Dao people on the Orchid had already expired.

On the issue of how to draw the bounds of traditional aborigine reserve, current bill proposed by central government will not only split or even wrongly explain the traditional reserve, but also very likely to set an unfair limit for the interested parties.

As to the issue, how to elect the members of the Aboriginal Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee under the President Office, Rev Omi Wilang bombarded the authoritarian mindset of the Council of Indigenous Peoples intentionally overlooking diverse democratic voices expressed from different aboriginal people. "Apparently the whole administration heads toward a wrong direction, as a huge gap exists between President Tsai's aboriginal policy and its execution!", remarked Rev Omi Wilang.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3383 Edition

26 December 2016 - 1 January 2017

Headline News

 

PCT Pays Condolence To The Families Of The Victims In Taoyuan Scaffolding Collapse And Urges More Pastoral Ministries For Urban Aborigines

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

On December 21, during the engineering process of cement pouring, an unexpected scaffolding collapse occurred to a library construction site at Taoyuan Dasi Senior High School. Five workers were killed under tons of collapsed scaffolding materials and several others injured. According to a preliminary finding, this deadly accident might be caused by a weak scaffolding, warned in advance by the site workers, being unable to support the top-story structure during cement pouring.

As two of the five killed workers, Mr Liao Chung-jen and Mrs Huang Hsiu-mei, were confirmed as a couple of Amis aboriginal from the Duli tribe of Pintung, Rev Omi Wilang, secretary of PCT Indigenous Mission Committee, and Rev Lin Wei-lien, secretary of Church and Society Committee, both went to Chungli Mortuary Service Office on December 27 to pay their heartfelt condolence to the families of the victims.

In the past 20 years, the victimized couple made their livings via plastering or frame-working at construction sites among the cities at northern Taiwan. Though their two young boys, playing for school baseball team at Linluo Junior High School in southern Taiwan, studied and lived in a far distance away from their working parents, the whole family was still strenuously connected in a hard working spirit shown in each member. But, this tragic accident not only shocked Taiwan society but also changed everything for these two boys!

Except that Taoyuan City Government and New Taipei City Government pledged to take care of the medical and welfare demands of these victimized workers and their families, this accident also  made manifest the importance and urgency of the pastoral ministry for the urban aborigines.

Based on a population census, till the end of November in 2016, conducted by the Council of Indigenous Peoples under Taiwan's central government, there were totally 552, 687 indigenous people in Taiwan. In a deeper demographic analysis of the aboriginal population, the actual number of urban aborigines, which means the aboriginal inhabited in urban cities, reaches a figure of 256,755(46.46%) people; the figure of aboriginal population in traditional mountain tribes is 163,515(29.59%), and the aboriginal figure in rural or plain tribes is 132,417(23.96%).

On the other hand, a PCT census of church members, up to the end of 2013, shows that there were 253,311 PCT members across the island consisting of 69,549(27.45%) aboriginal members. But, comparing to the fact that there are 419 aboriginal churches serving the mountain tribes and 94 churches serving the rural and plain tribes, there are only four urban aboriginal churches existed at present with a vision to serve a indigenous population of 256,755 people! A mission impossible, isn't it?!

According to Rev 'Eleng Tjaljimaraw, Associate General Secretary of PCT General Assembly Office, there were actually quite a lot of aboriginal workers also lost their lives at construction site, just like the victimized couple at Taoyuan, but most of them usually cast as a common or individual event in the media. In addition, pastoral care for the urban aborigines was obviously not enough, observed Rev 'Eleng Tjaljimaraw, adding that PCT were increasingly lost contact of urban aborigines due to two major factors: either they were not accustomed to the work and faith of urban PCT church or they were attracted to other denominations.

In order to strengthen the pastoral ministry for urban aborigines, the Indigenous Mission Committee reiterate the current pastoral framework of "The Project of Companion and Co-operation In Urban Mission", encouraging each PCT aboriginal presbytery to work closely with kinds of urban PCT church to care for urban aborigines or plant an exclusive urban aboriginal church. Currently, there were already four aboriginal presbyteries operated in this urban mission project. From 2017, four more aboriginal presbyteries, Tayal, Taroko, Tso, and Pinuyumayan, will join into this project, said Rev Omi Wilang.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Sister-in-law of the victims in Taoyuan scaffolding collapse, the Amis aboriginal couple of Mr Liao Chung-jen and Mrs Huang Hsiu-mei, was solemnly paid in a condolence and financially supported with a NT$ 30,000 offering by Rev Omi Wilang, secretary of PCT Indigenous Mission Committee, and Rev Lin Wei-lien, secretary of Church and Society Committee, at Chungli Mortuary Service Office on 27 December, 2016.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 


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