Area: 36,000 sq km
A mountainous island 160 km east of mainland China, together with the Penghu archipelago and the islands of Matsu and Kinmen close to the mainland. One of the world’s most densely populated countries.
Population: 23,561,660 Annual Growth: 0.58%
Official language: language and language of education Mandarin. Hoklo and Hakka are widely spoken Languages: 28 All languages
Largest Religion: Chinese
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Church growth among migrant workers in the last 15 years has been quite remarkable. Among Filipinos, Thais, Indonesians, Vietnamese and others, many are coming to faith in Jesus. This is happening through collaboration between Taiwanese and expat ministries, which is itself praiseworthy for the unity and cooperation demonstrated.
Taiwan remains a stronghold of Buddhism and Taiwanese folk religion. Over 90% of Taiwanese see themselves somewhere in the spectrum of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Taiwanese folk religion. Many adherents mix Buddhist ideas with a folk religion worldview, seemingly unconcerned by the contradictions.
a) Purer Buddhism is growing steadily in influence, most evident at universities and among educated professionals; at the grassroots level, Buddhism faces the same challenges Christians faced in overcoming thousands of years of traditional Chinese folk religions. The largest of the Buddhist organizations has millions of adherents and uses its influence to build temples and monasteries overseas and spread Buddhism throughout the world.
b) Folk religions are ubiquitous and underlie most of Taiwanese society. These believe in a host of gods arranged in a heavenly hierarchy similar in structure to the ancient Chinese court. Entrenched ancestor worship and occult practices such as consulting spirit mediums, fortune telling and offerings to ghosts are all essential parts of this animistic and informal set of practices and beliefs.
For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Republic of China, Taiwan.