Taiwan Church News
Sept 4~10, 2023
Church Leaders Support Pro-Taiwan’s VP Lai Ching-te to Run for President
Report by Hong Tai-yang from Changhua
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Hosted by the National Christian Association for VP Lai Ching-te’s Running for President (NCALCTRP), a thanksgiving service, entitled as “National Christians to Trust, Listen and Team Taiwan” was held at the David Landsborough International Hall of Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH) in the afternoon on September 2.
Christians from across the country, who care about the future of Taiwan and its people, gather together to pledge their confession again in worship and show their firm belief that God will choose the best presidential candidate for Taiwan.
During his sermon of thanksgiving service, Rev Peng Chi-hon, moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), acutely reiterated to the audience the Confession of Faith of PCT:” We believe that the Church is the fellowship of God’s people, called to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ and to be ambassador of reconciliation. It is both universal and rooted in this land, identifying with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering becoming the sign of hope.”
Rev Peng stressed that the church is the fellowship of God’s people, and its calling is to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ and to be an ambassador of reconciliation, therefore the PCT will not support any particular political party or specific candidate. Instead, Rev Peng reminded, the PCT has very clear guidelines for the election held in Taiwan.
He remarked that in the past the Church and Society Committee of the PCT General Assembly had published the “Guidelines for Voting the 2020 Presidential and Legislative Elections”, which included six criteria: 1. Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. 2. Anti-bribery, anti-money-laundry, anti-violence, and anti-disinformation. 3. Support Taiwan’s values and enhance national sovereignty. 4. Stand for freedoms, human rights and democracy. 5. Implement the principles of fairness and justice and engage in the promotion of transitional justice, economic justice, residential justice, land justice, environmental justice, and ethnic justice. 6. Advocate for a non-nuclear homeland and develop renewable green energy.
Rev Peng also quoted Psalm 3 of David’s prayer, encouraging the audience to keep their faith in God even in difficult days. “Be sure that God is our strong shield and the omnipotent protector. God is our greatest glory. And when we do our jobs for the glory of God, God will lift our heads up,” said Rev Peng, “We are God’s most honorable and precious people. When we pray and call on God, God will definitely answer our prayers and make the best arrangements for us!”
During the service, pastors from different indigenous groups were invited to lead the worship. The CCH Nurse Choir and the Female Doctors Choir also sang the hymns of “Praise, my Lord, the King of Heavens” and “Be Not Afraid, Jesus Is Here” respectively. At the end of the service, Rev Chen Hsin-liang, general secretary of the PCT General Assembly, delivered his prayer and blessings.
Immediately after the thanksgiving service, the presidential campaign rally of the NCALCTRP was officially launched. Amid the chants of “2024, United as One” from the audience, Vice President Lai Ching-te awarded campaign certificate to each district branch and presented flag to Elder Wu Rui-peng, chief convener of the NCALCTRP.
In his speech, VP Lai said that China is keep trying to paint the 2024 Taiwan presidential election as a choice between war and peace. And the opposition parties are also collaborating to use war rhetoric to influence Taiwan people’s opinions. VP Lai believed that the people are wise and Taiwan’s presidential candidate should not be decided by China.
VP Lai recalled the 1996 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, which prompted him to switch his medicine career into the field of politics. At that time, his medical job transferred from National Cheng Kung University Hospital to Tainan Sinlau Hospital, and then he began the political and public service. Impressed by the missionary spirit of Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell, the founder of Sinlau Hospital, who traveled across continents and oceans afar to serve in Taiwan, the enthusiasm and compassion to serve and heal the people of Taiwan continuously inspired him till now, VP Lai expressed.
The political idea that VP Lai treasured in his public service is that Taiwan is never part of China, but a sovereign and independent country instead. He emphasized that this idea has never changed, and his will is even stronger now than in the past. He believes that behind so many people’s support for his personal presidential bid, Taiwan society have a greater dream beyond. VP Lai expressed that he is just an ordinary person and does not dare expect God to stand on his side, but he will try his best to serve Taiwan and hope that he can walk humbly with God!