Tropical beaches, fertile plains covered with fields of rice, fruits, and vegetables, and towering mountain ranges with 150+ peaks higher than 10,000 feet—these all contribute to the geographic mosaic that is Taiwan. Its population of 22 million people are squeezed onto an island twice the size of Hawaii. With 610 people per square kilometer, Taiwan is the second-most densely populated country in the world. Many of these people for whom Christ died have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel.
Taiwan’s religious mosaic is a blend of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, ancestor worship, and animism. On average, there is one temple for each 1.2 square miles. About 95 percent of the population follow the customs of this traditional Chinese folk religion, at least for weddings and funerals. Less than 6 percent of the population professes any form of Christianity.
Norman and Nadine Lehman pioneered the field of Taiwan for Baptist Mid-Missions in 1972 and served for many years in the Taichung area. Other BMM families spent multiple terms in Taiwan, serving in Taichung and Changhua. Matt and Marla Hanna arrived in Taiwan in 1990. In 2002 they started a church in the southern city of Kaohsiung and are continuing to lead it toward self-supporting status. Josh and Rachel Stewart joined them in 2015 with the goal of starting an additional church-planting work.
The majority of the people in Taiwan have never heard the gospel clearly presented. Most Christian churches are ecumenically oriented and strongly influenced by the Charismatic and Word of Faith movements. Baptist Mid-Missions needs more missionary workers to establish more independent Baptist churches and to train national believers for life and ministry.
The spiritual need of Taiwan is staggering. There are still large population centers that have no independent Baptist witness. In addition to the need for church-planting couples to give themselves to this challenging ministry, there is also the need for other men and women who will partner with them and contribute their gifts and skills to evangelism, discipleship, and biblical training of national pastors, missionaries, and church workers. Furthermore, Taiwan’s numerous colleges and universities are ripe fields waiting for gospel workers who will reach Taiwan’s young adults in their formative years.
View the Taiwan video here.