Back in the agricultural age, a temple’s basic function was to provide believers with spiritual support; it also helped to strengthen sub-ethnic consciousness and local identities. However, temples have to adjust to the ever-changing society and face the challenge of transformation. Therefore, ever since 1990s (year 80-89 of ROC) Baoan Temple has been into transformation and adjustment. Our years of efforts have turned out quite a few achievements, which have won approval from all over the society.
In order to increase the effectiveness of services, Baoan Temple undertook the task of full-scale computerization. In the beginning of 1994 (year 83 of ROC), we were able to go online with all files – temple members’ information, fund-raising, well-wishing ceremony, lamp-lighting ritual, and financial reports to synchronize filing and printout. This was a great leap forward in the management of Temple members’ database. Actually, this automated system was the first among all temples.
In 1999 (year 88 of ROC), for the purpose of widening cultural visions and offering disciples cyber-space browsing service, Baoan Temple built up the “Dalongdong Baoan Temple Worldwide Information Network,” where we set up e-mail boxes. Baoan was among the first group of temples to have entered the age of Internet. At our website, we introduce Baoan Temple’s various services and religious ceremonies; we also provide information such as: Baoan’s successive changes, architectural arts, Baosheng Culture and Education Foundation, the affiliated library, as well as art and literary classes.Besides, the Baosheng Culture and Education Foundation, which was founded by Baoan Temple in 1996 (year 85 of ROC) with 30 million NT, is dedicated to the promotion of traditional fine arts, music and drama, as well as the collection/collation of cultural/historical materials. We have invited experts and scholars to serve as board members. After years of efforts, we have seen some success in the succession and promotion of traditional arts. In the meantime, Baoan Temple gets to be in contact with people in areas other than religion and develops closer relations with local communities.
Temples always try to go in pilgrimage and visit their ancestral temples; this is to show their gratitude toward the roots and hope for more blessings from the gods. As early as 1930 (year 5 of Showa reign), leaders in Baoan Temple’s belief sphere had made pilgrimage to the Pai-chiao Tzu-chi Temple in Chuan-chou Prefecture. After the retrocession, however, such pilgrimage trips were out of the question due to martial law restrictions.Started in October 2000 (year 89 of ROC), Baoan’s then-Vice President Liao Wu-jyh headed three pilgrimage groups to the ancestral temple at Pai-chiao Tzu-chi Temple and Ching-chiao Tzu-chi Temple. Moreover, “National Association of Baosheng Emperor Temples” had many times invited Pai-chiao, Ching-chiao, Chuan-chou Hua-chiao Temple, and the Immortal Wu Associations in Amoy, Chuan-chou and Chang-chou for religious exchanges in Taiwan. These groups all paid visits to Baoan Temple.
For the purpose of propagating Baosheng Emperor’s doctrines, twice in 1957-1958 (years 46-47 of ROC) Baoan Temple’s then-Chairman Lin Gung-chen led Baoan’s scripture-reciting team southward and visited with fellow temples like: Tainan Lianghuang Temple, Hsingchi Temple, Taiwan’s very first temple Tiantan, Nanchang Baoan Temple, Wanfu Nunnery, Pingdong Shuidiliao Boan Temple, Beishiliao Baoan Temple, and Chiayi Chen-an Temple. At the time, these tours were considered grand religious affairs, which had opened up fellowship and communication among temples. However, as time had gone by, people and things also changed; contacts gradually quieted down. It was not until 2000 (year 89 of ROC) that Baoan Temple’s then-Vice President Liao Wu-jyh began to pick up what was left. On October 6-8, 2001 (year 90 of ROC), VP Liao, along with 60-plus reciters and volunteers, went on a sutra-chanting tour in Tainan. They were warmly received by host temples.
Other than the many major temples that came from all over Taiwan to offer incenses and compare notes at Baoan Temple, Baoan also has many branch temples. Currently, Taipei Yonghe Baofu Temple, Jiangzicui Chaohe Temple, Nantou Puli Tenzhi Temple, and Danshui Chifu Baosheng Temple are the ones that are in communication with Baoan Temple.In addition, on May 21, 1995 (year 84 of ROC), the 2nd board of the “National Association of Baosheng Emperor Temples” held its 6th meeting for board members and supervisors at Baoan Temple. On March 24, 2001 (year 90 of ROC), the Association’s 4th board held its 4th meeting for standing board members and supervisors, also at Baoan. In 2004 (year 93 of ROC), Baoan sponsored the 3rd general assembly of the 5th board under the name of “Province-wide Taoist Temples’ Joining Forces” in Taipei.