Taiwan, Republic of China, is an island about 100 miles from the southeast coast of China. Claimed by China, Taiwan has no seat in the United Nations. In spite of its ambiguous international status, Taiwan hasn’t moved to seek full independence, but functions as an independent nation.
Population: Over 23,000,000 people, mostly ethnic Chinese
Land: The island is about 250 miles north-south, and about 60 miles wide at its widest point. For our reference, it’s easiest to think about Taiwan’s land area in terms of South Carolina. Taiwan can fit inside SC about 3 times, but has about 4 times as many people. Most of them live on the western plains since mountain ranges cover the eastern half of the island.
Demographics: Taiwan has an aging population with a life expectancy in the high 70’s. Taiwanese people tend to be well-educated and most enjoy a standard of living similar to a major city in the US.
Religion: Statistics from the CIA website suggest 4.5% of Taiwanese are Christians. However, that number includes anyone who claims to be Christian – Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, liberal Protestant – many of whom we believe are not truly disciples of Jesus Christ according to the Bible. So the true number of believers may be closer to 2.5% of the population. Over 90% of Taiwanese people practice Buddhism, Taoism, folk religion, or a blend of all three.