They Denounced an Art Exhibit. But Will Anyone Understand Why?

Taiwanese Christians thought a zombie-themed show dishonored God. I’m not sure their response was Christlike.

Last year, the Tainan Fine Arts Museum announced a forthcoming exhibition featuring images of ghosts and zombies. To contextualize the show, which originated in France, curators incorporated artwork inspired by local folk beliefs and cultural stories of various Asian countries.

But before the exhibit had even opened, many Christians began flocking to the museum’s Facebook page to criticize the show as “immoral and harmful to public decency” and a “freakish power of the demon”—and even to request that the museum pull the plug on it. One church issued a public prayer request, claiming that the exhibit would “pollute the country and the people” and that the “the evils of our country are growing [and] we are ignorant, deeply offending God!”

As Christians lamented the zombie exhibit, its supporters argued with them in the comment section—and bought tickets. Ultimately, presales for the zombie exhibition sold out as soon as they were available, and many people waited in queues for several hours to enter the venue.

The Christians I grew up around in Taiwan would likely defend the critics who say pop culture or art is displeasing to God. Like many evangelicals in America, many of them believe the church has the responsibility to speak out against the culture when it appears to violate biblical teaching and values. But is this asking too much of the world?

To paraphrase Marvin Olasky, Christians often categorize their society as Israel, when in actuality it’s Babylon. While Olasky makes this claim about American Christians, it is even more true in Taiwan, where Christians make up only 5.5 percent of the population and nearly half (49.3%) of people profess folk religion …

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