Churches: duty-bound to pursue human rights around the world

In June 1978, Father Ronald Boccieri of the Catholic Maryknoll order harbored Chen Chu, and as a result was denied entry into Taiwan for years. On 10 December 2001 Fr. Boccieri appeared at the Human Rights in Taiwan—A Retrospective exhibit at the President Office, addressing the audience in Taiwanese. (photo by Pan Hsiao-hsia, provided by Taiwan Art-in Design Company)

Churches were among the first international organizations to be concerned about Taiwan human rights in Taiwan. The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, the Catholic Maryknoll organization and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning American Friends Service Committee were instrumental in this work. For example, for his role in helping to publish the political prisoner list to the outside world, Rev. Milo Thornberry of the Taiwan Theological College and Seminary was deported by Taiwan’s authorities in early 1971. During the following decade, more than ten other missionaries were deported or barred from entry.

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