Some Taoist Temples Prove All-Embracing

February 17, 2010

Author: Loa Iok-sin

Source: Taipei Times

Walking into the three-story Glorious Pantheons (光正萬教宮) in Chiayi City, the temple looks similar to most other Taoist temples in the nation, with elaborately decorated pillars, a traditional roof and numerous statues of deities on the altars. However, upon taking a closer look at the altar, one difference becomes clear — there are two statues of Jesus, one with a cross and one without. 

The temple was built in 1976 by a Taoist master, Huang Chin-ching (黃進卿), who believed that teachings of all religions are positive and righteous, hence one should think out of the box and learn the wisdom of all religions. 

Huang’s idea became so popular that he had to build a larger temple in Jhongpu Township (中埔), Chiayi County, which was completed in 1998, the year before he died. 

“Most followers of different religions — Taoists, Muslims, or Christians — believe only in the teachings of their own religions. However, they may miss the good things in other religions or become so narrow-minded that they are hostile toward other religions,” a Glorious Pantheons staffer Chen Yun-ying (陳雲英) told the Taipei Times. 

“Our objective is to break the division between religions and to promote religious tolerance,” Chen said. 

“We’re a Taoist temple, but we welcome people of any religion to come here,” she said.