Taipei (Fides Service) – The different religions in Taiwan have launched a series of initiatives in support of the victims of SARS and the medical staff involved. One of the events was a torchlight rally on May 28 in Taipei central park as a sign of solidarity and unity of intention to overcome the SARS epidemic.
The main purpose of the rally was to pray for the defeat of SARS, for the physical and psychic health of the people and for an improvement in the Island’s economy hard hit by the SARS crisis. Believers of many different religions took part in the rally to show their desire to overcome the widespread feelings of anguish and insecurity in society. The event is in harmony with a message issued recently by the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Paul Shan, with the title “Love will overcome SARS” in which he calls on Taiwan’s Catholics and all people of goodwill “not to withdraw, not to flee from one another” but to give powerful witness of solidarity and sharing.
The local Church was involved in the organisation of the rally, planning some of the hymns, and there was a good response from individuals and parishes, missionary institutes, religious congregations and church movements.
The Association of Chinese Faithful, the main organising body, was established by Cardinal Yu Bin in 1943 in Nangjing, mainland China. The present vice-director of the Association is Bishop John Baptist Wu, secretary general of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference. NZ (Fides Service 27/5/2003 EM lines 23 Words: 271)