Taiwan Church News
September 20~26, 2010
Religious leaders in Taiwan come together to pray for peace
Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong
Written by Lydia Ma
Religious leaders in Taiwan came together on September 17, a few days shy of International Day of Peace, to pray for international peace. Among the list of guests were PCT General Assembly officials,Tienti (Lord of the Universe Church) officials, and Buddhist officials.
Officials at this meeting recited a prayer for peace before representatives from every major religion inTaiwan came forward to toll a small bell. The bell was a miniature bell topped with a cross and supposedly symbolized peace.
Religious leaders prayed specifically for government officials worldwide, people abused by the military, financially marginalized people, and people struggling with hunger and joblessness, as well as victims of abuse. Other topics that made their way into the prayer list included nuclear energy, environmental awareness, and global warming.
The prayer recitation segment of the service focused on reaching out to marginalized people in society, promoting a just society, turning away from sin, and mutual respect and cooperation in making Taiwan a better place to live.
Towards the end of the service, religious leaders were invited to the stage one by one to offer their own religious prayers for peace. This ceremony, which lasted 3 hours, became an occasion for religious leaders to get acquainted with one another.
PCT has rarely held joint prayer meetings with Buddhist or Tienti church leaders despite enjoying a close partnership with Catholic Church leaders, said PCT General Assembly Moderator Lai Hsien-chang. This service, hosted by the Catholic Church, was a great opportunity for PCT to try something new and vastly different.
Catholic Archbishop John Hung said candidly that Buddhist and Tienti teachings still exert a strong influence on the thoughts and actions of elected officials and heads of social organizations in Taiwan and the impact of these two religions mustn’t be underestimated.
Because of the important place accorded to these two religions in Taiwanese society, Hung felt honored that their leaders could join Christian leaders in this prayer ceremony. “After all, their influence on Taiwanese people is sometimes greater than ours. So, this is a special night,” he said.