Taiwan Church News
February 20 – 26, 2017
Rev Dr Collin Cowan, General Secretary Of CWM, Challenges PCT To Speak Out For The Marginalized Without Voice
Reported by Lin Yi-yin
In his keynote speech, entitled as “Discerning the role of PCT in the unfolding Taiwan” among the International Forum of the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today held by PCT, Rev Dr Collin Cowan earnestly challenged PCT if she would take up her responsibility as a prophet to speak out for the marginalized, especially when the immigrant workers are inhumanly treated, exploited, abused and even raped by their employers in Taiwan.
“To let the voices of those suffered be heard, PCT has to engage Taiwan society as a prophet and raise up the banners of justice and peace for those marginalized without voices!”, Rev Dr Collin Cowan solemnly unveiled the theme of his keynote speech to the audience.
Taiwan’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2015 was less than 1%, though, her investment in China reached an unnerved 40%, Rev Dr Collin Cowan straightly pointed out that such an imbalanced economic structure exasperated the unemployment of the youth and prompted some infrastructure industries to keep relying more heavily on immigrant workers with low wages.
But a more miserable truth was that these 600,000 immigrant workers, mostly from south-eastern asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, Thailand, Vietnam and etc, were not honored by Taiwan society for their irreplaceable contribution to support the faltering economics, Rev Dr Collin Cowan remarked, instead they were usually stigmatized as wrongdoer, offender or even criminal and accordingly those exploitation and abuses imposed upon them were easily silenced, neglected, or even swept under the rug!
Various hardships confronted these immigrant workers in Taiwan, as President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her concerns several times in her public speech and noted by Rev Dr Collin Cowan, includes serious overtime, hazardous environments, incredibly low-paid jobs, abuse, sudden death due to accident, violence, rape, absence of labor insurance, and high commissions to labor agents.
Rev Dr Collin Cowan encouraged 1,244 churches of PCT to care more about the sufferings and wants of all inhabitants across this island. Let more people in sufferings encounter God to find out their own lives’ meanings in God’s infinite generosity and compassionate presence inside diverse cultures, races, and religions on this beautiful island, Rev Dr Collin Cowan called, just like the inflicted and helpless church without the shepherd could still cry out to God face to face through the spiritual strength and passionate hope blessed from God!
“Are we ready?!”, Rev Dr Collin Cowan asked the audience at site with two questions further: What we Christians see though the eyes of those children and youth suffered by all these unbearable looting and exploitation on themselves? While the people anticipate to be saved from all kinds of devastations such as theft, robbery, killing and ravaging, what are the actual solutions of PCT? These two questions have to be replied seriously if we want to discern the role of PCT in the unfolding Taiwan, Rev Dr Collin Cowan concluded in his speech.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Rev Dr Collin Cowan, General Secretary Of CWM, stressed an attitude of constantly think and review should be a common stance of contemporary church to deal with all kinds challenges lying ahead. It means to use our spiritual insight, based on God’s wisdom and spiritual practices, to learn the quintessence under all superficial phenomenons. Especially, when people are under special social and political circumstances, such spiritual insights could help us to understand God’s will and our destiny in that particular context.
Photo by Lin Yi-yin