Taiwan Church News
22 – 28 May, 2017
Self-Immolated Martyr Chan I-hua Remembered In An Annual Memorial Service
Reported by Chen Yi-fan
“If a grain of wheat dies, it bears much fruit”(John 12:24), this is the life of the Taiwanese martyr Chan I-hua.
Twenty-eight years after his self-immolation for the cause of Taiwan independence in front of the Presidential Office Building on 19 May 1989, many people from Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung came to pay tributes to Chan I-hua’s commemorative statue, located at Chu-chi Riverside Park of Chu-chi Hsiang in Chayi County, and attended the memorial service organized by the PCT’s Chayi Presbytery, Association of Taiwan Farmers Rights, and some other civic groups on May 19.
Rev Kuo Rong-ming, a retired pastor and former Old Testament professor in Tainan Theological College and
Seminary, gave his sermon in the service. Death indeed makes everyone feared, but Jesus Christ is absolutely powerful enough to overcome its dominance, Rev Kuo said, adding that Chan I-hua was dead, though, he is still speaking!
Rev Zeng Kuo-chong, director of PCT’s Church and Society Committee, encouraged the audience not only to keep holding commemorative assembly for Chan I-hua annually, but also to participate into concrete events facilitating transitional justice, for example to sign the petition for urging the government to scrape the names of Chiang Kai-sheik from all the roads, schools, buildings, and etc across Taiwan.
At the end of this annual service, in a song called “The innocent soul” and many other lyrics sung by the musician Mr Wang Ming-che as usual, the audience including many young people placed their boutiques of flowers in front of Chan I-hua’s copper statue.
Translated by Peter Wolfe