【June 2019 No.403】Kyodan Representatives Attend 64th PCT General Assembly

The 64th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan was held April 23-26, 2019 at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, with the theme “Members bound together in love—Lives bear witness to Christ.” Kyodan General Secretary Akiyama Toru, Vice-moderator Hattori Osamu of Higashi Chugoku District, and Executive Secretary Kato Makoto of the Kyodan’s Commission on Ecumenical Ministries represented the Kyodan. Higashi Chugoku District’s Vice-moderator Hattori attended to express gratitude to the assembly for sending 5 teams totaling 20 carpenters from throughout Taiwan following the flooding of the Okayama Hirashima area of western Japan to do reconstruction work on damaged homes.


There were approximately 600 participants at the general assembly, including 40 overseas guests. Mobile receivers were passed out among the guests to enable simultaneous English or Japanese translations. This time PCT provided a team of translators, consisting of seven young adults. Taiwan is a country composed of many nationalities, with many languages and cultures. However, PCT has firmly persisted in using mainly Taiwanese at the general assembly from before the time of Japanese rule. Although the young adults received their compulsory education in Chinese, they managed to translate from Taiwanese, which they were unaccustomed to hearing, into Japanese.


The election of the PCT moderator was held during the proceedings on the first evening. The term of service is one year, and there is no re-election. Through this election process, the vice-moderator is usually elected as moderator for the next term. This year as well, Vice-moderator Rev. Chen Jiahn-yueh was elected as moderator. Rev. Abus Takisvilainan, a Taiwan native from Bunun Presbytery, was elected vice-moderator. On the second and third days, three special programs were prepared for overseas guests: visiting institutions for elderly persons, visiting the National 228 Memorial Museum, and attending the explanatory session of the Taiwan Ecumenical Forum. The 228 Memorial Exhibition commemorates what happened on Feb. 28, 1947. This is said to be Taiwan’s most sorrowful incident during which more than 28,000 persons were massacred throughout Taiwan. From then until 1987 the country was governed by martial law, and the PCT terms this period as the “White Terror Era.”*


During the morning of the third day, as an ecumenical sharing group, we were sent to the International Japanese Language Church. There Usuki Midori, a Kyodan missionary, spoke mainly about the relationship of the World Council of Churches, the PCT, and the Kyodan before and after 1991. (Tr. RT)


*The “White Terror Era” is the period of political repression in Taiwan begun in the 1940s by the Republic of China government.

                                 —Kato Makoto, executive secretary




 初日の夜のプログラムでは議長選挙が行われた。PCTでは議長の任期は1年であり再選はない。通例は選挙を経て副議長が議長に当選する。今年も陳見岳牧師 が副議長から議長へ当選した。副議長には原住民である布農中会から阿布絲・打給絲非來南牧師 が当選した。2日目と3日目には海外ゲストのために3つの特別プログラムが用意された。高齢者受入施設の訪問と228記念館訪問、そして台湾エキュメニカル・フォーラム説明会である。228記念館は1947年2月28日に起きた、台湾全土で2万8千人以上が犠牲になった台湾で最も悲しい事件と言われる。それから1987年まで戒厳令が布かれるが、この期間をPCTはWhite Terror Eraと表現する。


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