Taiwan's Church Council to Remain "Chinese"

Jan 24, 2003 12:30 PM EST

The Church Cooperation Association of the Republic of China, known more commonly as the National Council of Churches of Taiwan (NCCT) held its biennial assembly on January 14th. During the meeting new directors were elected and plans for next year's activities were approved. Representatives from all member churches were positive, and a productive ecumenical spirit was evident.

In addition to these items, the matter of the association's name was discussed. In the past, nationwide organizations were not allowed to register under the name "Taiwan." They were compelled to use "Republic of China" for legal purposes. The political environment has opened up over the past decade, so some of the directors suggested changing the name of the group to reflect Taiwan's "true name." The matter was put to a vote, which came out 16 for and 7 opposed. Because it required 18 votes to pass, the motion failed.

The Rev. William J. K. Lo, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, was disappointed with the outcome. He said, "International society knows this country as Taiwan. The English acronym used for this association, NCCT, is based on use of the word 'Taiwan' not 'China'. Since the motion failed this time, we will wait two years and try again at the next assembly.

Last year the NCCT participated in many high profile programs. These included a sports festival and the recent social movement to uplift and strengthen marriage. Response was encouraging. In the coming year seminars, lectures and activities will be added in several growing areas of social concern: Aids Prevention Education, Family Ethics and Migrant Marriage and Economic Life.

Association members said that in the face of the mounting threat of Aids, the breakdown of family structures and the increasing number of cross cultural marriages in Taiwan, the church must take a positive role. By love, action and concern, the Kingdom of God will be made manifest here.

By Albert H. Lee
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