From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Greek Orthodox Establish Preaching Station in Taipei
Taiwan Church News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:21:04 +0800
Taiwan Church News 2660, February 23, 2003
Reported by Tan Kim-ban. Translated and rewritten by David
To whose "East" is the Eastern Orthodox Church situated? This
simple question, though best answered through references to
Western European history, is a problem when translated (but not
explained) for a Taiwanese audience. It has come up because two
years ago Father Jonah Mourtos, a Greek Orthodox priest, came to
Taiwan and established Holy Trinity, the first Eastern Orthodox
church in Taiwan. He was sent by the Orthodox Bishop of Hong
Kong and South East Asia as an evangelist. Now Taiwan's people
have the chance to experience the ancient liturgy of the Eastern
church and hear the gospel of Christ from an angle previously
In his search for a suitable place to equip as an Orthodox
church, Father Jonah rented meeting rooms in hotels and
advertised in English language newspapers. The first worship
service was held at the Lai-lai Hotel in Taipei, attended by 25
people, some of whom came from a great distance. The difficulty
of hotel facilities necessitated many changes of times and places
over the first few months of the church's ministry.
Eventually Father Jonah made acquaintance with faculty from
Fu-jen Catholic University, a Jesuit institution. He found
support and encouragement from them, and was offered use of a
Roman Catholic facility in the Taipei suburb of Shih-lin for
Sunday morning worship. In this facility he is able to lead
worship in a proper Orthodox fashion.
He says of this nation, "Taiwan is a free and democratic
country. Taiwan is good to foreigners." He looks forward to
spending the second half of his life here.
Holy Trinity currently serves between 10 and 30 people a
week. Members come from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia,
Russia, Ukraine and the Americas. Five or six Taiwanese also
attend. The liturgy is celebrated in English, but scripture
readings can or may be in any of five or six other languages.
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