Spiritual Darkness

Our missionary friends took us to Xingang (New Harbour) and Beigang (North Harbour) at night to get an idea of the spiritual darkness in the two towns. “At night” because that’s when many rituals are performed and the vicinity is crowded with people, and the dynamics are different from daytime. In Xingang we visited Fengtian Temple, while in Beigang we visited Chaotian Temple. Both claim to be the premier Mazu temple in Taiwan, in order to compete for the offering (incense and oil money) from idol worshippers. Actually some believe temple worship, politics, and the Chinese gangs are intricately related. During election times many candidates would worship at temples and make large donations, and those who don’t are seldom elected. Many temples are said to be controlled by businessmen who are involved in secret societies, which in turn back certain politicians in return for favors.

Parade of worshippers carrying idols to Fengtian Temple.

Some of the people in the parade are mediums who invite demons to possess them to demonstrate their power. One guy walking around without a shirt on will strike himself with a spiked weapon to show that he isn’t hurt. We saw another guy wrapping a red ribbon around his waist and sniffing incense in preparation for being stabbed.

It is such a pity that these folks who donated large sums of money to buy joss sticks, incantations and “afterlife money” will burn them in order to be blessed. They might as well burn their hard-earned money directly because that’s what they are doing. Pray that God will open their eyes so that they are not spiritually blind and can see the poverty of their souls.

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