The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News

Taiwan

Taiwan activists incensed over burnt incense pollution

Mazu temple president says it is hard to change worshippers' practices, despite their best efforts

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong

Updated: December 13, 2017 06:08 AM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Taiwan activists incensed over burnt incense pollution

Incense burning and firecracker lighting at Mazu Temple in Taichung, Taiwan has been blamed for causing air pollution. However, Environmental Protection Administration staistics show it contributes less than 2 percent (Photo ucanews.com)

Share this article :
An ancient Chinese temple is it at the center of a controversy in Taiwan over whether incense and joss paper burning there is contributing to air pollution.

Local politician Yen Kuan-heng on his Facebook page called for a rally Dec. 17 to urge the government to take action against air pollution around Taichung on the island's western coast.

But his call sparked an immediate response from netizens who blamed incense and joss burning at Mazu, or Jenn Lann, temple in Daija district, as a major contributor to the problem.

The temple is dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu and is a major tourist and pilgrim attraction. During one major pilgrimage, incense and joss paper burning lasts for nine days and eight nights.

Yen Ching-piao, president of the temple, said incense and joss paper burning was a Chinese religious practice that was hard to change.

"The temple has been promoting less incense burning, and asking people to offer only one stick of incense in an incense burner," he said.

"We have also asked them to burn joss paper in a special incinerator instead of the temple and urged them to use ‘electric firecrackers’ instead of lighting real ones, but it has taken quiet a long time to change people’s habits," he said.

Yen Kuan-heng, in a TV interview, quoted statistics from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration which showed incense and joss paper burning contributed less than 2% to air pollution in the area, with the majority coming from vehicles and factories.

In July, more than 10,000 people marched in the capital Taipei against government attempts to limit the burning of incense and paper money during religious ceremonies to curb air pollution.

The protesters told the government that as followers of the Taoist religion, the practices are a crucial element of their religious rituals.

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution