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Taiwan delegation to attend U.S. National Prayer Breakfast

2012/01/19 22:06:44

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) A Taiwan delegation to the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast, an annual interfaith event held to champion faith, freedom, democracy and human rights, will be led by Kuomintang Vice Chairman John Chiang, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.

Chiang, along with Lai Shin-yuan, minister of the Mainland Affairs Council and World Vision Taiwan President Tu Ming-han will attend the 60th annual breakfast on Feb. 2 with dignitaries from around the world.

The group will depart on Jan. 30 and attend a number of associated events between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, in addition to the breakfast.

The group is also scheduled to meet with American officials, leaders of Congress and scholars during the visit to Washington D.C.

Taiwan has been invited to the event, which always features speeches by the U.S. president and a guest speaker, for the past 20 years, according to the MOFA.

The origins of the meeting can be traced back to a gathering of American politicians that prayed for victory in World War II. The tradition was kept after the war and expanded in 1953 by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The breakfast that year became the inaugural Presidential Prayer Breakfast, which in 1970 took on the name by which it is now known.

"These breakfasts provide opportunities for the leadership in our states to seek reconciliation and unity of spirit through the power of God, regardless of differences in politics or religious beliefs," the event's website stated.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Kendra Lin)