Christian demographics and influence in Taiwan

#1

It always feels like there are more Christians in Taiwan than what the demographics indicate. However, it is pointed out in this article that the influence of Christianity in Taiwan is more than what would be assumed by just looking at the religious demographics themselves.
Christianity in Taiwan

#2

throw in the Filipinos and that number goes up for sure.

This your Easter weekend contemplation?

#3

Yes, the celebration of the resurrection. In my view the most important part of Christian belief. Not Christmas. And for non Christians it can be a time to start again with any issue that is getting them down.

#4

Agree.
Easter Sunday almost here…

#5

Hey, I wrote most of that Wiki article! Still basically a stub, though.

I don’t know of any good numbers on religious affiliation in Taiwan. Certainly not from the government–the Ministry of Interior used to just combine self-reporting with guestimation–and religious groups tend to inflate their followings. (I have been told this by a Catholic priest as well as a Muslim imam here.) There is however a religious experience survey which asks, among other things, which deities one worships. I’ll have to look into that…

But part of the problem has to do with defining affiliation. For example, how do you know if somebody is Christian? If they were baptized? (As Ma Ying-jeou was as a youth–but he now seems to follow the Chinese folk religion.) If they attend church at least once a year? If they say they are Christian? Too strict, and you’re not counting Christians anymore, you’re counting saints. Too lax, and you pick up a lot of people who may have once joined, but dropped out, or who had Christian relatives of some sort but no longer identify.

My own impression is that 4.5 percent is far too high, and that the reality is maybe half that. Certainly the mainline denominations are declining. Is this because Western culture is no longer such a draw? (Yes I know, but they’re not exactly banging on the door of the Coptic church either.) On the other hand, I could be missing a lot of new religious activity from Pentecostals and “house churches” which seem to have popped up in every neighborhood now. How many of these people are there? God knows.

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#6

Yes, there are a lot of Pentecostal “house” churches around. Usually groups of around 12 or so people. I would consider someone a Christian who is baptized and identifies as a Christian. I would also consider them one if he/she believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead in a literal sense. That’s my subjective opinion. That article was highly informative thanks for writing it.

#7

For us athiests it’s just a long weekend, Friday and monday off and paid for, since I work remotely for a company in Sydney.
Also, chocolate.

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#8

well for some Europeans it also represents Rebirth , Spring etc . I guess that’s where the egg thing comes from …
There was a Pagan goddess called Eostre or something close to that name

#9

Dubious:

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2017/04/16/christian-easter-pagan-goddess/

#10

Interesting ! So she may have just been in the monk’s imagination after all.
For me the origins of the name and exact date of the resurrection is not that important. The pagan traditions of Europe I still find interesting Christian or not.

#11

this is a very Abrahamic religions centered word.

#12

I’m sure I do use Abrahamic centered words. How would you describe a Pagan goddess or evil spirit ?

#13

I didn’t realize so many aboriginals were Christian.

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#14

You need to travel more throughout Taitung County into small rural villages and mountains. You’ll see the crosses of the churches from aways out.

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#15

That Eos was a pagan goddess is not disputed. That it’s a proper PIE derived name (Hausos/Hewsos) rather than an indigenous Greek name is not disputed. That the name turned into Eostre by the time it reached the British Isles is no stretch of the imagination. :sun_with_face:

#16

In the context of European history, pagan is simply an umbrella term for folk religions, i.e. those religions that survived in the countryside (among the peasants, from the same root word as pagan) after Christianity became the state religion.

If we use it to refer to all non-Abrahamic religions around the world, then that really is… Abrahamocentric, I suppose. But in this discussion we’re talking about whether or not Eostre was a goddess of British folk religion, so it’s completely appropriate. :2cents:

#17

Christianity in a most general sense seems pretty common here. As are many other religions/cults. From my experience here it seems more in line with escapism and akin to drug addiction, in taiwan especially. There is a serious comfort in having a solid group to rely on for support when life (especially family life for people who tend not to become fully independent and/or emotionally mature) kind of sucks. This is why more extreme religious cult like groups take hold here so easily (scientology, seafood, mormons, any number of whack budhist groups, jw etc). Some people drink or do drugs, some travel and leave, others pay 10% to a scam artist. At the end of the day, there is a financial burdon and satisfaction of the the deal made. One could call it capitalism quite honestly. And often we are happy to keep paying into the addiction of comfort of escape.

Though i have noticed in recent years more religious buildings popping up. They may be massive places on big roads in big cities, pretty farm house getaways in the countryside or apartment buildings with cram school style seating. But really quite a lot, especially christian oriented themes…though not sure if they could be called christian.

What is the definition of christian by the way? Lots of taiwan versions it seems. But maybe im just assuming they are “christian”?

#18

:thinking:

Oh God, not again! :doh:

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#19

"Only Mormons claim they are Christians "

Haha. Have you known any mormons in taiwan or back home? Thats why i call them cultish. I had to grow up with one in my house…weiiiiiird.

But dont tell me you dont know what i mean by seafood…all hail.

Hint: of all his weirdness it was his expensive car habit that got taiwans panties in a knot.

#20

Oh, that seafood! I was thinking something more like what @rowland is into. :octopus: