Title: Christians in Taiwan Urge New Values to Reconcile Political Enmity
Taiwan Church News 2847, 17-24 September 2006
Reported by Lin Yi-ying. Written by David Alexander
“The sky gradually grows light, the clouds disperse, the earth grieves, for the what people do, heaven sees. The sky gradually grows light, love slowly grows, the earth is warmed, we are never alone.” The struggle between those who support and those who oppose Taiwan’s President Chen is a sharp conflict. Christian poet Huang Kuo-lun hopes to use “Skylight”, his song quoted above, to diffuse enmity. Rev. Chang Te-chien, the general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) suggests that, apart from prayer, we must have a “movement of concern” in response to mass media sensationalism. He also suggests that each day every person should take 3 minutes for silent meditation and reflection.
The Rev. Hu Chung-ming, pastor of Tek-seng Presbyterian Church in Kaohsiung City, called for the establishment of “cooperation and reconciliation” as values for Taiwan’s people. Christians, he says, must be apostles of peace, and serve as examples to people who have been stirred to conflict by political positions.
On September 16th, Huang Kuo-lun addressed a crowd of 200,000 supporters of President Chen, telling them, “I love Justice and fairness, but I love a Taiwan full of love and human feeling even more!” He added, “We must look towards the light. The conflict that is raging appeals to the baser instincts, but I pray long and hard, and am assured that God wants me to speak out!”
Mr. Huang originally wrote “Skylight” for Shih Ming-ter, the leader of the Anti-President-Chen movement, in 1995. Mr. Shih used it as his campaign song when he ran for a spot in Taiwan’s legislature a year later. For the presidential campaign in 1996, Mr. Huang wrote a song for opposition candidate Peng Ming-min entitled “I’ll Walk the Long Road With You.” But at the same time he aided the election campaign of Nationalist Party’s incumbent president Lee Teng-hui by offering a song, “Hand in Hand”. Mr. Huang says, “I hope that music can be used to reconcile the conflict between ‘Blue’ and ‘Green’ in Taiwan’s politics.” He sees Taiwan as suffering because political leaders never cease to oppose each other, and this harms the peole as individuals, as ethnic groups, and even as churches opposed to each other over political issues. Therefore, he wants to stand with God, and use mercy and love, to look at the world. “I’m just another sinner upon whom God has had mercy, and I would be merciful to others myself. God does not want us to take up stones to throw at each other!”
Rev. Chang said that Christians must pray for God to act, and themselves act with concern, not taking their cues from the newspapers, but carefully discerning matters, and remembering to spend at least 3 minutes a day in silent contemplation and meditation to calm their spirits, preventing strange political ideas and enmities from controlling their actions. In addition, when accusations of corruption are flung about, he says to respond from the legal process, even if that means appointing special investigators and independent courts to hear the matter.
The PCT’s Associate General Secretary Kho Singdoh led the entire group, Christians, people of other living faiths, and people of no faith at all, in prayer. He called on God to grant calm, peace, and respect, to all of Taiwan’s peoples, that we might in a pluralistic context be united, and serve as God’s instruments of peace.
For more information: Chang Te-chien firstname.lastname@example.org
Kho Singdoh email@example.com
Hu Chung-ming firstname.lastname@example.org