From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Taiwan - Ghosts Again Victorious in Annual Contest with gods
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:00:17 -0700
Taiwan Church News 2633, August 18, 2002
Reported by Lin Yi-shin. Translated and rewritten by David
Churches all over Taiwan are joining to share the good news of
peace during the lunar calendar's 7th month. According to
Taiwan's folk religion, this month is the time when hungry ghosts
are set free from hell to wander the earth. Offerings to gods
are not efficacious in preventing the ghosts' wrath. Only by
making elaborate sacrifices to the "friendly brothers" can they
be persuaded not to cause trouble. Churches are proclaiming "If
Taiwan's gods are not able to overcome the ghosts, then they are
not able to save anyone. But Jesus is greater than those gods,
and can carry us through ghost month in peace. Jesus' gift to
you during this month is peace."
In Hsin-chuang township of Taipei County 33 churches are
holding united programs, inviting neighbors to a "City Festival
of Love and Peace." One of their techniques is to proclaim every
day of ghost month to be "Peace Day". Rev Li Wen-cheng from
Hsin-chuang's Grace Church said, "Ghost month brings fear, but
Christian faith emphasizes the love of God. Where there is love,
fear is cast out." He calls on church members to be distinctive
from secular people, who abstain from many common activities
during ghost month for fear of being harmed. "Every day for a
Christian is a day of celebration. Every day is a day for the
grace of God to be made manifest. Therefore we should rejoice."
The Rev. You Po-hong from Hsin-chuang Presbyterian Church
says, "If all churches cooperate, the spiritual atmosphere will
change. The uniting of local Christians in the "Festival of Love
and Peace" can offer many opportunities for church members to
introduce their not-yet-believing neighbors to the Lord. This
month, when people are ill at ease, the message of the peace
available in Christ is am especially fitting gospel emphasis."
Hsin-chuang is not the only locality to have special
festivals. The Taipei and Seven Star Presbyteries of the
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) used Taipei's 228 Memorial
Park for a special festival on the evening of August 16th called,
"The Seventh Month as Peace Month, Breakthrough to New Hope". In
Sanchung City on the 17th and 18th a Folk Evangelistic
Festival was held.
For more information: Hsin-chuang Presbyterian Church:
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Chinese
Visit our web site: www.pctpress.com.tw
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