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TEF Webinar 2023 Clips: Light after Darkness - Becoming a community of solidarity and resilience

Taiwan Ecumenical Forum Zoom Webinar

1. Date⇒22 & 23 May, 2023

2. Time20:00~22:00 Taiwan time

3. ThemeLight after Darkness -- Becoming A Community of Solidarity and Resilience

To help ecumenical leaders understand the current threat of Chinese force and the spread of false information in Taiwan, the Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF) held an international webinar under the theme "Light after Darkness -- Becoming a Community of Solidarity and Resilience" on the evenings of May 22 and 23. TEF invited former Minister of the Ministry of National Defense Taiwan, Michael Tsai, the Directors of the Forward Alliance Taiwan, Enoch Wu, and the Co-Founder of Cofacts Taiwan, Billion Lee, to speak on national defense, civil defense, and identifying fake information.

TEF also invited Mr. Shoichi Konda, advisor to “The Christian” (interdenominational weekly newspaper), Rev. Steve Moore, a Padre in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for 22 years, retiring in 2012, Dr. KIM Sangduk, and Mr. Sonny Africa, the Executive Director of IBON Foundation. Their theme is as follows: “What Overcomes the Cult-like World,” “The Church in a Dis/Misinformation Age: Reality and Response,” “Restless Truth and Resilient Faith: Christianity and Media in the Public Sphere (a Korean Perspective),” and “Disinformation, anti-democracy and militarism in the Philippines.”

Michael Tsai emphasized that Taiwan is located at the center of the first island chain in the Western Pacific, a geographical pivot. Taiwan must form a NATO-like alliance with South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and even Singapore and Malaysia to have the strength to counter the threat of China's military expansion in recent years. He believes that national defense must be implemented in education and cooperate with the self-defense training of civilian associations so that Taiwanese people can have the concept and ability of self-defense. In doing so, Taiwanese people can cope with the possible cross-strait wars anytime.

Enoch Wu explained that the purpose of the civil defense training, first-aid drills, and situational drills put in place by "Forward Alliance" is to prepare Taiwan to face the impact of natural and man-made disasters. Moreover, Billion Lee said that the Internet is flooded with fake information, whether it is about the war between Russia and Ukraine or China versus Taiwan. Cofacts plays an even more important role in clarifying and dismantling the misconceptions and perceptions that false information can bring to the audience by comparing a large amount of information in a timely manner.

Shoichi Konda believes that fake news is like cults and heresies, which can erode people’s minds through the indoctrination of extremist ideologies. Only by recognizing the characteristics of media can people differentiate and stop idolizing political figures.

Steve Moore used Finland as an example, stating that the country has been teaching students how to identify fake news and wrong knowledge since early times. This has attracted many other countries to visit Finland and learn how to recognize fake news.

The reason why fake news is rampant, as mentioned by Kim Sang-Duk, is due to the characteristic of young people obtaining information through the internet. This is the so-called “Post-Truth.” People only want to obtain and absorb information that benefits themselves, but they are not willing to discern the truth. Therefore, how Christianity emphasizes the pursuit of messages that benefit the majority in the public domain as the truth is an urgent focus that must be addressed. Sonny Africa stated that the Philippine government is controlled by a few families. Whenever people speak out and criticize militarism, they are more likely to be vilified and suppressed. It can be said that the dissemination of fake news is all orchestrated by the government.

Pastor Jooseop Keum, one of the co-convenors of TEF, said that as a faith community, are we not a "peacemaker"? He reminded that, just as during the Cold War between the U.S. and Russian empires, the churches were unwilling to dance with them and instead proposed a third way to break through the impasse by pursuing peace and reconciliation. This is the only way to counteract the demonic degradation of power.

Pastor Yang-En Cheng, a member of the TEF Task Force and Steering Group, cited the "The Powers Trilog" proposed by Walter Wink, an American scholar, who said that it is necessary to point out where the power is and tear off its mask in order to fight against it, so that we can deal with the degradation of the demonization of power.

The Executive Secretary of the PCT, Nancy Lin, who was in charge of organizing the webinar, expressed that more than 60 ecumenical leaders from Canada, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Hungary, the United States, Romania, Switzerland, and Germany participated in this webinar. Through the shared thoughts and multi-perspective reflections offered by the speakers from different countries, the participants hope to build consensus in faith and to achieve the topic of this webinar - “Light after Darkness -- Becoming a Community of Solidarity and Resilience.” She gratefully thanked everyone's enthusiastic participation, making it possible for TEF to effectively raise international attention over the situation in Taiwan.


Welcome Message/ Rev. Dr. Jooseop Keum / TEF Co-Convenor

Current General Secretary, Council for World Mission (CWM);

Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK) Ordained Minister;Former WCC staff;

Civil Defense I / Director Enoch Wu /Founder & Executive Director ofForward Alliance

Topic>Civil Defense: Practicing Resilience

Civil Defense II /Elder Michael Tsai / Former Minister of National Defense, Taiwan

Topic>How Taiwan is defying China's aggression, with total national defense & regional security cooperations

Panel Presentation/ Japan: Mr. Shoichi Konda /Advisor to “The Christian” (interdenominational weekly newspaper), Editorial Advisor to “Cult 110”

Topic>What Overcomes the Cult-like World

Panel Presentation/Canada: Rev. Dr. Steve Moore /United Church of Canada (UCC) Ordained Minister; Religious Area Analysis (RAA) and Religious Leader Engagement, (RLE)

Topic>The Church in a Dis/Misinformation Age: Reality and Response

Opening Message / Rev. Dr. Cheng Yang-En /

Senior Pastor for Theological and Educational Ministry, Che-Lam Presbyterian Church in Taipei; Contract Research Fellow, Research and Development Centre, PCT; Retired Professor of Church History, Taiwan Theological Seminary

Disinformation /Ms. Billion Lee /Cofounder of the Cofacts

Topic>Fighting against disinformation & information operation via AI chatbot

Panel Presentation /Korea: Dr. Kim Sang-Duk /Adjunct Professor, Sungkyul University

Topic>Restless Truth and Resilient Faith: Christianity and Media in the Public Sphere (a Korean Perspective)

Panel Presentation /Philippines: Mr. Sonny Africa /Executive Director of IBON Foundation – an independent think-tank providing research, information and education services to social movements in the Philippines and abroad

Topic>Disinformation, anti-democracy and militarism in the Philippines

Theological Reflection /Canada: Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson /Former General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC); Former TEF Co-Convener; United Church of Christ (UCC) Ordained Minister

Handbook of Light after Darkness -- Becoming a community of solidarity and resilience_NoCopy.pdf

Submitted by:普世
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