Our Beloved Ones Don’t Become Angels When They Die

Despite what Chinese religions and pop culture might suggest, they stay human—and that’s a good thing.

On May 14, 2023, Taiwanese media reported on the first TV appearance of the famous singer couple Yu Tian and Li Yaping since their daughter died of cancer. In the TV program, the couple talked about their mourning and love for their daughter, and the audience was much moved when Li said, “My daughter has gone to heaven. … She has finally become an angel.”

It is not uncommon for people in Taiwan to believe their loved ones become angels (or some other forms of beings higher than humans) when they die. Personally, I have not only heard children say that about their grandparents who passed away but have also seen many internet discussions about “Do we become angels when we die?” Every year during the Qingming tomb sweepings, many people—including Christians—stand in front of the tombstones, telling their deceased loved ones about their life events and praying for blessings. The idea is even taught or implied by some pastors in Taiwan, especially at Christian memorial services.

Influence from pop culture and Chinese religions

But is the belief in our becoming angels after dying consistent with the Bible and orthodox Christian beliefs?

To people in Taiwan, Christianity is a foreign religion. According to a survey published in 2019 by the Academia Sinica of Taiwan’s Institute of Sociology, only 5.5% of the Taiwanese population are Protestant and 1.3 percent are Catholic, with the majority of the population following traditional folk religions (49.3%), Buddhism (14%), Taoism (12.4%), or no religion (13.2%). The majority of Taiwanese still understand Christianity through the popular culture of European and American films, television programs, plays, novels, and picture books. Thus, many …

Continue reading

Read More

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.