CWM shares solidarity with Taiwan

A group of people in traditional Taiwanese dress praying.

The Council for World Mission (CWM), has held its Annual Members’ Meeting in Changhua, Taiwan, as an act of support and solidarity with the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan (PCT), and the wider Taiwanese society.

CWM comprises 32 member churches – including The United Reformed Church – from six global regions.

Karen Campbell, URC Secretary for Global & Intercultural Ministries, was delegated to be part of a small group to draft a statement on behalf of CWM and then to read it out to the gathering.  The statement reads:

Meeting under the theme “Break Down the Walls of Division”, CWM has actively listened to the voices of the Taiwanese people. Caught in the escalating geopolitics between competing Empires, Taiwan is living under the constant threat of war. Empire-policies have created deep divisions not only within Taiwanese society, but also in the entire Asia-Pacific region. The situation has been intensified in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war, with Empires taking more aggressive actions than in the recent past. Taiwan has experienced increased military exercises (simulations and provocations), and the Taiwanese people feel increasingly vulnerable.

Taiwan has been one of the most isolated nations in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, primarily because of its exclusion from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Health Regulations (IHR). Taiwan was not allowed to participate in the global response to the pandemic, including accessing information and resources, sharing data and best practices, and participating in international discussions and decision-making.

CWM has been working closely with the PCT and other ecumenical partners through the Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF), advocating for the rights of the Taiwanese people to “self-determination”, including religious, political, and economic freedom, and in pursuing peace in the region.

CWM affirms Taiwan’s right to rise to life through the pursuit of justice, peace, and reconciliation. It acknowledges the resilience of the people of Taiwan in resisting the oppressive structures which threaten to destroy peace in their communities and limit their opportunity to flourish. CWM commends Taiwan’s generosity in contributing to the welfare and wellbeing of other nations, even in the face of its own challenges—including assistance for Ukraine, financial support during Covid, and standing in solidarity with Hong Kong.

CWM calls for greater global cooperation within and beyond the CWM family to support Taiwan in its struggle for peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. It urges global multinational and ecumenical organisations to hear the voices of the Taiwanese people, to speak out against the military hostilities being suffered by Taiwan, and against the injustice of Taiwan’s continued isolation.

Christian wisdom reminds us that we are all connected, and “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (I Cor 12: 26); CWM affirms its solidarity with Taiwan and its people, and says, “You are not forgotten, and you are not alone”.


Image: CWM.