Taiwan - otherwise known as Formosa - is the largest island in the Republic of China (ROC), situated off China’s south-eastern coastline. It is an island with a colourful history, as at various times throughout the years she has been governed by the Dutch, the Japanese, the Chinese, and her own native Democratic Party.
Taiwan has been governed by the Republic of China since1945 when she was acquired by the Chinese from Japan as a result of World War II.
Four years later the Republic of China lost the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China and retreated to Taiwan. Taiwan now comprises most of ROC's territory and the ROC itself is commonly known as "Taiwan". The political status of Taiwan is disputed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) which was established in 1949 on mainland China and considers itself the successor state to the ROC.
Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an advanced economy, and it is known as one of the 'Four Asian Tigers.' This economic rise is referred to as the 'Taiwan Miracle.'
Taiwanese companies manufacture a large portion of the world's consumer electronics, although most of them are made in their factories in mainland China.
Standard Mandarin is officially recognised by the Republic of China as the national language, and it is spoken by the vast majority of residents. About 70% of the people in Taiwan belong to the “Hoklo” ethnic group and speak both Taiwanese – a variant of Min Nan, their mother tongue – and Standard Mandarin.
Standard Mandarin has been the primary language of instruction in schools since the Japanese were forced out in the 1940s. The Hakka ethnic group, comprising around 15% of the population, use the Hakka language. Taiwan's aboriginal minority groups mostly speak their own native languages, although most also speak Mandarin.
English is a common second language, with some large private schools providing English instruction. English is compulsory in students' curriculum once they enter elementary school. English as a school subject is also featured on Taiwan's education exams.
Over 93% of Taiwanese are adherents of a combination of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. 4.5% are adherents of Christianity, which includes Protestants, Catholics, Latter-Day Saints and other non-denominational Christian groups. 2.5% are adherents of other religions, such as Islam. Taiwanese Aborigines comprise a notable subgroup among professing Christians with over 64% percent identifying themselves as Christian. Church buildings are the most obvious markers of Aboriginal villages, distinguishing them from Taiwanese or Hakka villages.
As of 2009, there are 14,993 temples in Taiwan, which equals approximately one place of worship per 1,500 residents. 9,202 of those temples were dedicated to Taoism. In 2008 Taiwan had 3,262 Churches, an increase of 145 from a previous count.
People in Taiwan are very welcoming of foreigners. They like to practice their English and meet new people.
OM Taiwan needs people willing to teach English in schools and also through bible classes. There are also many opportunities to do ministry in partnership with the local churches.
Thank You, Lord, for the unique, beautiful island of Taiwan, one of the economical "Asian Tigers". Thank You for its open, welcoming people and rich history. We pray that You will break the power of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism and set the Taiwanese people free. We pray that the Taiwanese church will grow and reach out to its people enthusiastically. Let Taiwan experience not only economical leaps but also spiritual ones.
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