by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, Christian leaders in Taiwan are considering how to equip the local church to face any future invasion by China, Christianity Today (CT) reports. Successive Chinese governments have considered Taiwan to be part of mainland China, and have long threatened to use force in bringing the island under their control: commentators speculate the Russian invasion of Ukraine may encourage China to do the same to Taiwan.
The Taiwanese church has largely refrained from taking a stance on the China-Taiwan issue, as some congregants want independence from China and others want to unify with it, CT reports. Accordingly, Taiwan’s Christian leaders have sought to present geopolitical issues through the lens of Scripture and to encourage neutrality for the sake of church unity.
However, Timothy Liao, dean of student affairs at Christ’s College Taipei, told Christianity Today that the Russian invasion of Ukraine should cause the Taiwanese church to consider whether it is ready to face the prospect of war with China.
“Liao believes seminaries and Christian think tanks should teach Taiwan’s pastors about the realities of geopolitics so they can better shepherd their congregations,” CT said.
In considering how Taiwanese believers might manage in a war with China, Ray Peng, the chairman of United Missions of Taiwan told CT: “ No matter what difficulties or dangers of war we face, we all need to have a posture of prayer. The most we can do for the churches of other countries is to pray for them, to pray for peace in the world.”
David Doong, the general secretary of the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE), a coalition of Chinese churches outside mainland China, told CT that it is important for his organization to be diplomatic on a range of matters, including that of Taiwan’s independence.
However, Doong also believes there are times pastors have a responsibility to speak out for one side or another: the issue is deciding when such a time has come.
“It’s really an art and many times you can’t see it clearly until after the fact,” Doong said. “Pastors are in danger of either becoming self-righteous or staying silent. It really needs wisdom.”
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