From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Taiwan's Churches Mark Anniversary of Civilian Massacre

From Taiwan Church News <>
Date Thu, 20 Feb 2003 13:18:16 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2660, February 23, 2003
Reported by Li Hsin-ren. Translated and rewritten by David

   In 1947, in a spontaneous uprising against heavy handed
domination by Chinese forces that occupied Taiwan following the
end of the second world war, the Taiwanese people took control of
their own destiny. The uprising began on February 28th.  Since
then has been called "the 2-2-8".
   Initially the military government retreated to its barracks,
and for a short time peace prevailed among the civilian
populace.  But after not too many days, troop ships from China
arrived carrying seasoned soldiers, some of whom came off the
gangplanks with guns blazing. This was the sign for garrison
troops to come out.  Martial law was restored, and in the
following weeks thousands of Taiwan's intellectual and social
leaders were rounded up.  Many were never seen alive again.
   Until the late 1980's the entire affair was hushed up.  It was
not taught in schools nor referred to in churches or other
institutions.  With the lifting of martial law in 1987, democracy
began its slow growth here.  Now the interior ministry of the
central government actively cooperates with grassroots
organizations to sponsor annual memorial events.
   This year the Church and Society Committee of the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) is sponsoring
a number of memorial activities around Taiwan from February 23
through March 6th.  On February 23rd a memorial concert in Chia
Yi County's Shui-shang Township will include an address by
Taiwan's  President Chen Shui-bian.
   The Rev. Mr. Cheng Ing-er (Te* Eng-ji), the PCT's Program
Secretary for Church & Society, encourages clergy and laity to
come out for the meetings in their areas.  He says it is an
opportunity to remember the ones who suffered, to comfort those
they left behind, and to learn from the spirit of Christian
faith.	In these ways, participants will "demonstrate the
actuality of the peace and justice of God's Kingdom in Taiwan."
   "History can be forgiven, but not forgotten," he said. The PCT
has been especially active in the movement to remember the
original events and to heal the wounds, offering space and
strength.  The government has commended the PCT for its efforts.
Rev. Cheng says that one of the important things to do now is to
nourish the national feeling and identity of Taiwan's people,
encouraging true love of their homeland.

For More Information: Cheng Ing-er

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