Taiwan, East Asia
Political Leader: President Chen Shui-bian
Religions: Chinese 43.2%, Other 25.7%, Buddhism 25%, Christianity 6.1%
Persecution Ranking: Not Ranked
Number of Terrorist Groups: 2
Acts of Terrorism: Not Listed; Casualties: Not Listed
Percent of Corruption: 41%
% of People in Poverty: 0.9%
Also known as Formosa (from Portuguese (Ilha) Formosa, meaning “beautiful island,” Taiwan is located in East Asia off the coast of mainland China, southwest of the main islands of Japan but directly west of the end of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and north-northwest of the Philippines. It is bound to the east by the Pacific Ocean, to the south by the South China Sea and the Luzon Strait, to the west by the Taiwan Strait, and to the north by the East China Sea. Taiwan is officially administered as Taiwan Province of the Republic of China. When Taiwan has talked about becoming independent China has threatened military action.
Although not a member of the United Nations, Taiwan has sought to implement to the maximum extent possible all U.N. resolutions relating to combating terrorism and terrorist finance issues. Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced a more comprehensive requirement for official approval of commodities exported from or transshipped through Taiwan ports to Iran and North Korea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tightened regulations for issuing visas to nationals of North Korea and Iran.
Taiwan’s population is approximately 25% Buddhists and 6.1% of its citizens are Christians. The constitution provides for freedom of religion and authorities generally respected this right in practice. There is no state religion.
Challenges for Christians:
Most of the population follows a Chinese religion, which is a mix of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
- Pray for the Taiwanese government to continue its strong opposition against to combating terrorism and terrorist finance issues.
- China has always treated Taiwan as a renegade province. Mainland China is extremely hostile to Taiwan claiming independence. Pray that Chinese and Taiwanese leaders would be wise and seek peaceful solutions for Taiwan’s future.
- Praise God that since the ‘90s the number of Christians in Taiwan has been growing.
- Pray that there would be a real breakthrough in seeing the Han Chinese population coming to faith in Jesus.
- Many rural churches in Taiwan don’t have a pastor. Pray that more Christians would be able to train and be released to serve these churches.
- There are over a million young people in colleges or universities across Taiwan. Pray that during this critical time in their lives they would explore what Christianity really means and meet with the living God.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, The World Factbook