The Words of the Kittel Family

Inter-religious Rally in Taipei Supports Traditional Marriage and Family

Robert S. Kittel
November 30, 2013
Director of Education, UPF-Asia, and photojournalist

Taipei, Taiwan -- An estimated 300,000 people gathered on Nov. 30 in downtown Taipei, just in front of the Office of the President of the Republic of China, in support of traditional marriage and family.

The Vice-President of UPF-Taiwan, Mr. Tuo-Huan Chen, said that UPF reached out to non-Christian religious leaders to educate them and encourage them to participate. Not wanting to take anything away from the Protestant and Catholic communities, who played a major role is the success of the rally, including covering most of the costs involved, he said UPF-Taiwan made a significant contribution by bringing to it an inter-religious dimension.

"UPF was part of the Inter-religious Coalition for Cherishing the Family," Chen said, "because it is very normal for Chinese to honor our families, especially our parents. Basic to Taoism is the philosophy that one yang and one yin is the Tao (the proper way of life)."

Christians initially spoke up to preserve the traditional family, but they were dismissed as the voice of just one religion. In Taiwan, where only 3 to 5 percent of the population are Christian, having an inter-religious voice was essential for the rally's success.

Based on decades of interfaith dialogue, UPF-Taiwan was asked to reach out to Buddhist, Taoist, Confucianist and Muslim leaders. They attended educational briefings and went together to meet national and local body legislators. The venues for the preparatory meetings rotated among Christian churches and Buddhist and Taoist temples, honoring various traditions and building interfaith camaraderie. 

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