Lee Teng-hui’s Conversion to Christianity and Kuomintang

  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai


When a regime feels vulnerable in a protracted civil war, it wages war against its own people, often going beyond the norm of a free state in safeguarding its domestic security. That was precisely the case with the Nationalist government on Taiwan in the 1950s and 1960s. But when the people feel vulnerable and live in constant fear from the secret police, who can arrest and torture and even kill them with impunity, they seek hope, fellowship, and protection in religion. For centuries, the Taiwanese have practiced a rich blend of Buddhism, Taoism, and folk beliefs brought to the island by ethnic Chinese settlers.1 When the Taiwanese need to placate fears, they perform an exorcist ritual called shou-ching to remove evil spirits. When they have doubts or need a prognostication about the future, they solicit advice by either drawing bamboo slips (Chinese call ch’ien) from a wooden vase or by throwing the so-called divining blocks in front of their patron deity.2


Democratic Progressive Party Taiwanese Student Secret Police Legislative Yuan American Professor 
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© Shih-shan Henry Tsai 2005

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  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai

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