Maps That Examine Protestant Church Locations And Village Level Statistics For the Nine Statistically Most Unchurched Districts / Townships of Taiwan

 

This set of maps takes a detailed look at the nine statistically most unchurched areas in Taiwan. This category of places is defined for this study as either having no Protestant church at all or having a population / number of Protestant churches ratio of over 20,000. The statistics used for this calculation are based on the information in the 2017 – 2018 Taiwan Church Handbook*.

 

We thank the Lord that the number of cities, districts, towns, and townships (市, 區, 鎮, 鄉) in Taiwan that fall into the most unchurched category has decreased significantly over the years. According to the information in the 1999 - 2000 Taiwan Church Handbook there were 41 places that met the criteria to be on this map at that time, but now there are only nine! Praise the Lord for the progress in starting more churches in difficult places that has been seen over the years! Please pray that God will send out workers to these nine places so that they, also, will gain churches for the strengthening of the witness of the gospel and the honor of Christ’s name.

 

The nine areas that are the focus of this set of maps are: New Taipei City’s Shihting District (石碇區 ), Taoyuan City’s Hsinwu District ( 新屋 區 ), Changhua County’s Tatsun ( 大村鄉 ), Tienwei ( 田尾鄉 ), and Hsichou ( 溪州鄉 ) Townships, Yunlin County’s Shuilin Township ( 水林鄉 ), Chiayi County’s Meishan Township ( 梅山鄉 ), and Tainan City’s Chiangchun ( 將軍區 ) and Annan ( 安南區 ) Districts. The locations of each of these districts and townships are shown in Map 1. All of these have one, or more, Protestant church except for Shihting District which has none.

 

The total population of the nine areas is approximately 408,000. Of this total, approximately 193,000 live in Annan District. The other eight districts’ populations are all under 50,000, and most are under 30,000.

 

The following maps were made for each of the nine areas:

 

Map A shows the neighborhood (里) or village (村) population from June, 2018**. The total population for the district or township is given on the face of each map. The location of the Protestant churches are shown on Map A (as well as on Maps B through E).

 

(**Chiangchun is an exception. Because of neighborhood border changes for Chiangchun that occurred in the spring of 2018 it was necessary to use population statistics from March, 2018, for this district.)

 

Map B shows the percentage of the population 15 years old, and older, that did not go beyond junior high school graduation in their formal education (2016 government statistics).

 

It was felt that showing neighborhood/village level statistics for educational attainment on Maps B and C would provide useful information for better understanding the people in the districts/townships. These statistics might also yield insight on how methods of evangelism and church planting might be adjusted in light of local education levels.

 

Map C shows the percentage of the population 15 years old, and older, that have a college, or higher degree (2016 government statistics).

 

Map D shows the neighborhood/village borders and Protestant church locations superimposed over satellite imagery. This kind of map is useful for getting a rough idea of where areas of population concentration are in relation to current church locations.

 

Map E shows the gender ratio by mapping the number of males for every 100 females (a measure used by the Taiwan government) for each neighborhood or village. Rural Taiwan has many places where there are significantly more males than females, which are shown in red on the maps. Blue areas on the maps, in contrast, show where there are significantly more females than males. Of the nine districts and townships in this study, only Chiangchun and Annan in Tainan City have any blue neighborhoods.

 

Note that each map has a number followed by A, B, C, D, or E. This number, for example “31” for Shihting, is an identifying number that I have used for the subdivisions of Taiwan for many years. Using this number makes it easier to organize the maps.

 

A sixth map was made for three areas: Shihting District, Shuilin Township, and Annan district. These are explained below:

 

Shihting District. Shihting has no Protestant church according to the 2017 -18 Taiwan Church Handbook. According to earlier editions of the TCH, going back to 1995, Shihting has gone back and forth between having and not having a church. The 2015-2016 TCH listed two Protestant churches for Shihting but two years later there were none. The low neighborhood populations and generally low population densities in Shihting may make establishing another church there especially challenging. Because of these circumstances, Map F, which shows neighborhood population density, was added for Shihting. The map identifies the few areas of population concentration in the district.

 

Shuilin Township. Map E for Shuilin shows that the gender ratio for every village in the township is greater than 107.0, which means the entire map is in the red range. To show some differences in the data Map F was added. This map uses an expanded number of ranges and so shows differences in the gender ratio across the township, although in every case the number of males is significantly greater than the number of females.

 

Annan District. The population of Annan District, 192,759, is much higher than that for any of the other eight places mapped for this study. Experience has shown that for a city or district that has such a large population it is likely that there will be groupings of neighborhoods within the district that have large populations but few or no churches. Map F for Annan District divides the district into nine neighborhood groupings and tabulates the population and number of Protestant churches for each in a table on the face of the map. The results show that there are areas within Annan District, especially neighborhood groupings A, G, and I, where the need for more churches is especially great.

 

I hope that this set of maps will be helpful for praying for these nine districts / townships where the work of the gospel has been particularly challenging. I also hope that they will provide useful information for understanding the circumstances in each place that would be helpful in planning ministry. May the Lord raise up workers to begin new churches in each of these districts / townships!

I want to thank the Taiwan Missionary Fellowship for their gracious willingness to post this set of maps on the TMF Mission Resource Center of their website!

George McFall, TEAM, November, 2018

 

*Church data source: 2017 - 2018 Taiwan Church Handbook, Christian Resource Center, Taichung  統計的來源: 2017 - 2018 年台閩地區基督教堂會, 宗派, 宣教機構一覽表 基督教資料中心發行, 台中

 

© 2018 Taiwan Missionary Fellowship 臺灣基督教傳教士協會
Design by schefa.com