Taiwan Church News
November 6 – 12, 2017
A Theological Reflection Of PCT’s Human Rights Declaration At Its Fortieth Anniversary
Reported by Lin Wang-ting
To deliver a theological reflection on what PCT’s Human Rights Declaraion means for Taiwan society today, a seminar entitled “God’s sovereignty and human rights: a theological reflection of PCT’s Human Rights Declaration at its fortieth anniversary” was held at Soo-Chow University on November 6. This seminar was co-organized by many religious and civilian groups,including Society and Church Committee of Taipei Presbytery, Cheng Nan-rong Foundation, Taiwan Church Press, Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary and etc, inviting scholars and experts from diverse backgrounds via three major thematic papers to review and suggest what’s next in Taiwan’s agenda.
In his opening speech, Mr Cheng Chin-hua, the executive director of Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation, stressed the enthusiastic pursuits of Nylon Cheng, like affirming human rights, proclaiming 100% speech freedom, raising audacious criticism of KMT, urging to lift martial law, establishing 228 peace memorial day and breaking the taboo of Taiwan Independence were all correct paths for Taiwan society. “Te body of Nylon Cheng was burnt into ashes, though, his soul is never destroyed”, Mr Cheng remarked.
Dr Kung Lap Yan, a theology professor of Divinity Schoolof Chung Chi College in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, shared his critical thought in the opening ceremony about HK’s actual status of human rights. Raising a marginalized story of a 75-year-old HK lady, Dr Kong questioned the glamorous data and charts shown in UN annual human rights report and urged that the real truth of human rights conundrums should not be veiled by the myth of numbers.
Ven. Shih Chao-hwei, a professor of religious studies in Suang Chuang University, delivered her observation of human rights as an educator in higher education system. She said though deep-rooted ideology of rank and file still exist on the campus, just like that in any other business field, the marginalized should always be cared by the religious.
Through analyzing the historical lessons of South Africa’s history of apartheid, Rev Chen Nan-chou, former president of YSTCS, explained why the church has to seriously reflect the issue of God’s sovereignty vs human rights. Raising the ugly histories of some South African churches’ approving apartheid for the sake of racial purity or social harmony, Rev Chen concluded that it was never a truth that the reigious would naturally cared about huamn rights issues. “Isn’t South Africa stories similar to our situation now?”, Rev Chen asked.
Prof Wati Longchar, a theology professor at YSTCS, talked about the notorious authoritarian milieu, which seemed inherently resident in Asian countries and craftly forbidding people to express their concerns about public affairs. To chant and campaign for human rights, people need freedom and democracy to deliberate, dialogue and debate in the public without fear, Prof Wati urged.
Translated by Peter Wolfe