From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Taiwan's West Coast Churches Meet Folk Religion with "Walking Prayer"

From "pctpress" <>
Date Thu, 29 Apr 2004 13:23:26 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2722, 26 April through 2 May 2004
Reported by: Yang Shu-hao.  Translated and Rewritten by David Alexander

An idol of the Sea Goddess Matsu from a temple in Ta-chia on Taiwan's Central
West Coast is carried on a tour every year during the third month of the
calendar. The event stretches over several days, and is accompanied by acts
devotion and festivities all along the route. Churches in the area respond
with parades of their own. Local clergy testify to a change in the spiritual

The "2004 Rally for Blessing on the West Coast" was an ecumenical effort of
clergy, churches and districts from Chia-yi to Taichung.  A month of
preparatory prayer commenced on March 17th. After a two-day seminar on April
17 & 18 a special service of worship was held at the Wu-chi Worship Center,
following which a team went out to follow Matsu's pilgrimage. This year, as
last, the team held special evangelistic meetings in area churches at 7:30
each evening of the festival.

The Rev. Lida Islituan, a minister in the PCT's Central Bunun Presbytery,
of Aboriginal participation in the event.  This year members of Tumpu,
Sinapalan, Loloxo, Tambazu'an and Ta-san churches came in groups of more than
twenty, a vast increase over 2003. Christians who follow the parade do not
enter local temples to burn incense, but respectfully spend their time in
silent prayer, learning to understand their neighbors who follow the folk
religions.  In this way, he said, folk-religionists become more willing to
hear the testimonies of the Christians.

According to his personal observation there has been a drop in the number of
people who visit temples for personal worship and a corresponding increase in
the number of folk religion adherents who approach churches willing to hear
the gospel.  Under this blessing, he says, the beginning of revival in
churches and increase in the number of believers has been seen.

The Rev. Du Shiunn-chien, pastor of Hsilo Presbyterian Church in Chia-yi
Presbytery, related a story of an English Language pastor from Singapore who
has participated in the walking prayer movement on Taiwan's west coast for
four years. He has walked for the entire 8 days of the festival in the front
lines, praying every step of the way. Rev. Du says that "Seeing this man's
love for Taiwan has united the churches here to engage in this annual
spiritual struggle."

For More Information: Lida Islituan  FAX +886 49 2831231
		   Du Shiunn-chien
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.
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