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2024/1/13
Taiwan’s Status Quo and Church Missions Concerned in the 16th WATCC Assembly

Taiwan Church News

3749 Edition

Jan 1~7, 2024

Weekly Topical

Taiwan’s Status Quo and Church Missions Concerned in the 16thWATCC Assembly

Reported by Hong Tai-yang

The 16thAssembly of the World Alliance of Taiwanese Christian Churches (WATCC) was held at Liu-Yuan Church of Taichung Presbytery on December 27 and 28, 2023. Many honorable PCT leaders were invited to attend the meeting, including Rev Peng Chi-hong, moderator of the PCT 68th General Assembly, Rev Fuyan Suda (vice moderator), and officials of the PCT Ecumenical Ministry Committee. In addition, more than 50 PCT pastors and elders from around the world came to this assembly.

During the meeting, Ms Chen Ju, president of the Control Yuan, and Mr Chiu Chui-cheng, vice chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, and some overseas pastors were arranged to deliver thematic speeches. After the meeting on Dec 28th, all participants went north to pay an official visit at the Presidential Palace.

The opening service of the 16thWATCC was hosted by Rev. Chen Hsin-liang, who had served as the 15thWATCC chairman and now serving as the PCT general secretary. He quoted Genesis 22: 1 ~ 4 to preach a sermon entitled as “Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will provide) “.

Though China’s military threat to Taiwan has increased in recent years, and the shadow of a cross-strait war had loomed since, he remarked. However, as Christians, he reminded the audience, we must learn from Abraham’s actions, building our faith on God’s words, and listening to God’s guidance with a calm and obedient mind-set. “We firmly believed that God will respond us with abundant grace!”, he concluded.

In her key-note speech, Ms Chen Ju reviewed the historical development of human rights in Taiwan. During the period of KMT’s authoritarian ruling, she lamented that there were a total of 22,028 political victims, of which 1,148 were sentenced to death and brutally executed.

She stressed that the sacred sacrifices of these martyrs, who paid their priceless lives for Taiwan’s freedom and democracy, were absolutely the pride of Taiwanese souls, an indispensable strength to change the mainstream society then, and the critical power to remove martial-law rulings and then launch democratic pursuit. She called on the younger generation, who were born in a democratic and free Taiwan society, to remember the history full of bloods and tears, in order to cherish and protect Taiwan for our next generations.

During the Q&A period, a pastor asked directly why Taiwan government had not found out the truth behind the political murder case of Lin Yi-hsiung’s family? Ms Chen Ju replied that currently two members of the Control Yuan were still carrying on to investigate, yet because key evidences of the murder case had been deleted or disappeared, it became impossible to make a final conclusion. She confirmed, during the investigation, suspected involvements of the KMT intelligence unit were indeed found. However, due to the legal strength of those available evidences, the culprit had been unable to determine yet.

Mr Chiu Chui-cheng, as a co-speaker, talked about the nature of Xi Jinping’s communist regime in China. He illustrated Xi’s regime has two opposite yet extreme measures to abuse his people and fight against the world:

a) Domestically, CCP used authoritarian controls, including digital surveillance of people, suppression of human rights and freedoms, promotion of the social credit system, re-education concentration camps, supervision of private enterprises and financial industries, and the creation of an Orwellian social milieu;

b) Internationally, CCP advocated military hegemony, showcased the military force in the South China Sea, exercised the “wolf warrior diplomacy”, promoted the Belt and Road Initiative and the China model, and manipulated foreign propaganda for China interests. When China proposed the “Xi Five Points” in early 2019, it has made it clear that it will not give Taiwan any room for peace sake; therefore, all political parties in Taiwan should give up their illusions and vigilantly prepare for China’s ambitious plan to annex Taiwan, Mr Chiu concluded.

In the session interacting with overseas speakers, Rev Chou Hong-yi from North America shared the challenges and future of overseas pastoral care in Taiwanese/American church. He pointed out that from relevant research on the question, why young generations of Taiwanese Christian do not want to go to the church, it can be found that the reasons include the church’s superficial faith teaching, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific atmosphere, judgmental and oppressive milieu, rejection of other faiths, and lack of room for reasonable doubt.

Moreover, Taiwanese/American churches have no policy or patience to implement or invest a cross-generational Christian education, Rev Chou worried. For example, they usually hand over the youth faith to counselors or pastors who are fluent in English but have unclear doctrinal positions, which in turn causes the church to lose more young people.

He explained further that there are a total of 96 Taiwanese/American churches in the United States and Canada, but there are only 59 churches with pastors. The PCT should regard North American immigrant churches as an important missionary fields, he suggested, and actively send more missionaries to these churches-in-demand in North America.

Rev Chuang Chiu-wei reported the situation of Taiwanese churches in Argentina, Brazil and other Southern American countries, which also faced the same identity issues of the second-generation Taiwanese Christians; Rev Kuo Kuan-cheng reported that Taiwanese churches in Japan were facing a lack of pastors to provide dedicated pastoral care.

Rev Huang Hsu-cheng, director of the PCT Mission Ministry Committee, said that Taiwan also faced a similar situation in which young generation were decreasing and unwilling to take up pastoral training, and this problem worth the PCT to search and explore the feasible solutions together with overseas Taiwanese churches.

On Dec 28th, through the contact of Rev Fang Lan-ting, the 16thvice chairman of WATCC, a group of PCT pastors including the 16thWATCC chairman Rev Su Hui-chi, Rev Wang Shun-ji, Rev Hsie Ching-hsiung and other pastors visited the Presidential Palace and were personally received by Mr Mr Lin Chia-lung, Secretary-General of the Presidential Palace.

All WATCC members shared with Mr Lin the statement, soon to be issued by WATCC, pledging that the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China are not any part of each other, Taiwanese are just Taiwanese (No Chinese), and Taiwan’s future should be determined by the Taiwanese alone, and finally WATCC will carry on to uphold the spirit of the PCT’s three declarations for Taiwan’s good in 1970s and continue work hard to serve and love Taiwan.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
 
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