From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Kinmen (Quemoy) Churches Prepare to Meet the Buddhists

From "pctpress" <>
Date Thu, 29 Apr 2004 14:08:05 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2722, 26 April through 2 May 2004
Reported by: Gu Hao-jan.  Translated and Rewritten by David Alexander

Buddhist groups on Taiwan's offshore island territory of Kinmen (Quemoy) are
planning a large-scale rally in June.  Kinmen is currently the site of both a
Buddhist studies center and some temples. The upcoming rally has spurred
Protestant churches to united prayer.

On April 21st a call was issued to local Christians to engage their Buddhist
neighbors in dialogue through sharing of tracts with the hope that they might
spread the gospel and change the spiritual climate of the island. A prayer
meeting was held at Sha-mei Presbyterian Church that included members of 5 of
the island's six Protestant churches.

The Rev. Chen Yi-chao, pastor of Sha-mei, summed up the feelings of local
Protestant clergy saying, "We feel that in advance of the Buddhist rally that
Christians should plan a response. We will distribute tracts and join in
public prayer events."	The Rev. Chen Chu-ren from Shan-wei Christian Church
cited events in Hong Kong where a foreign missionary who acted respectfully
a group that set up a Buddhist temple was invited to engage in dialogue.
they heard the gospel many confessed faith in Christ and the facility
originally intended for Buddhist use became a Protestant chapel.  He wonders
if, with Kinmen's Protestant clergy and believers united, such a case might
not come to pass there.

Beyond calling the local churches and Christians to spiritual battle,
congregations are being equipped with gospel tracts. The organizers of the
united front expect that many churches and Christians can engage in dialogue
and sharing with Buddhists as they distribute the tracts.

This movement to enliven the churches of Kinmen and spread the gospel will
reveal to the general population of Kinmen the differences between
Christianity and Buddhism.

Chen Chu-ren points to a religious census of Kinmen that shows the population
to be overwhelmingly Buddhist and only 1% Christian.  He says that the
Christians of Kinmen are not to be compared with those of Taiwan, who are
aggressive in sharing their faith. Kinmen's believers generally seek to
influence their neighbors by means of friendship. He cites the importance of
Christians in their everyday life showing concern for neighbors, putting down
roots in their communities, and engaging in dialogue.

Two Protestant groups from Taiwan are planning to offer three days of English
Language Education and Gospel sharing on Kinmen in mid-July.  Twenty Nine
foreign missionaries are scheduled to take part in the activity.  Rev. Chen
encourages local youth to come out and learn, and local churches to pray for
the event.

For More Information: Sha Mei Presbyterian Church FAX+886 82 353 579
		  Chen Chu-ren	 FAX +886 82 324 578
		  Kinmen Catholic Center FAX +886 82 373 476
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.
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