Taiwan Church News
Oct. 10 ~ 16, 2022
Central Taiwan Churches Protest Against Erecting Goddess Statue in City Park
Reported by Hung Tai-yang
A public statement, against erecting goddess statue at Ma-Zu City Park in Ta-An Harbor of Taichung City, was announced by central Taiwan churches before Taichung City Council on Oct. 7. Opposing an unconstitutional decision jointly made by Taichung City Government and City Council, candidates running for City Council, pastors and believers across denominations including the PCT, the Quakers and the Church of Bread and Life etc stand out to urge the implementation of the goddess statue be scraped immediately.
Rev Chang Hsien-Jueh, pastor of Taichung Action Justice Church, criticizes Taichung City Government’s privileged plan to set up Ma-Zu goddess statue in 2024 is seriously breaching the constitutional principle: all religion should be equal before the law. In addition, a public-financed city park named after a favored Ma-Zu goddess does not meet justice in any citizen society, remarks Rev Chang. “The park needs a name-change”, he says.
Elder Tsai Ming-Hsien, former Taiwan Defense Minister, expresses his anger on Taichung City Government’s blunt decision to tramp the Constitution and even the up-to-date interpretations reported by the Constitutional Court. The absurd erection of a 60 meter high Ma-Zu stature is totally beyond modern city’s development and common folk’s understanding, except trying to cover up Taichung City Government’s incompetence to serve people with necessary services, infrastructures and utilities, says Elder Tsai.
Quoting the scripture verses Acts 17:16~31, Apostle Paul’s addressing to the Areopagus, Rev Lin Ren-chien – deputy secretary of Taichung Presbytery – delivered an inspiring sermon encouraging the assembly to follow the Spirit, pray in unity and speak out the truth to the authority without fear, especially when the leaders of our country and society are worshiping idols and doing things blasphemous to our Holy God.
Translated by Peter Wolfe