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30 July 2019

Traditional Taiwanese Religious Beliefs

Rural areas of Taiwan, in general tend to be quite traditional in adhering to religious norms. Recently, our Taiwanese co-workers, Jordan and Bella experienced some difficult challenges.

New baby

The first one was the sex of their new baby. While pregnant, people asked Bella if she was having a son or daughter. When she responded that she was having another daughter, she got responses like, “Too bad,” or “Maybe you should get rid of it.”

In Taiwanese society, worship of the ancestors is passed down to the first born son. If you don’t have a son, then what do you do?

Although Bella explained that they were did not follow that tradition and could rejoice in having another daughter, people still seemed rather baffled.

Crying child

The second one was their older daughter, waking up at night and crying. The neighbors would often hear her and would scold Jordan and Bella for not taking her to a spirit medium. It was assumed that it was a spiritual problem that needed to be dealt with in the temple. When Jordan and Bella explained that they do not take their children to the spirit medium but rather pray to Jesus for them, their neighbors became very angry. They believed that not going to the spirit medium would have spiritual consequences on them as well.

Pray for Jordan and Bella to continue to engage with their neighbors with wisdom and love. May they be examples showing an alternative way of life with freedom.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18, 19).

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