Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Netizen begs City God for forgiveness after spreading ‘recruitment’ rumor

By Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Visitors enter the Tainan Temple of the City God, where a netizen yesterday went to pray for forgiveness after spreading a rumor online that the City God, Cheng Huang, would be “recruiting” 96 young people during Ghost Month.

Photo: CNA

A netizen yesterday kneeled at a Tainan temple to apologize to deity Cheng Huang (城隍), or the City God, for spreading a rumor online that the god would “recruit” 96 young people from across the nation during Ghost Month.

The netizen’s post, which included a picture of a whiteboard carrying a message purportedly from the City God ordering that 96 souls from 20 to 30 years old be recruited this year, said that these people should beware crossroads and avoid going into mountainous areas.

However, representatives of Tainan’s Temple of the City God denied the claims, adding that they were only made aware of the “order” after they received calls from the media and did a little research on the Internet.

Temple director-general Chung Meng-hui (鍾孟輝) showed reporters a whiteboard in the temple’s office, which did not contain any information on the alleged divine order.

The representatives said that the netizen visited the temple yesterday after realizing he might have committed a grave mistake, adding that while the young man admitted to adding a note to the picture and sharing it, he did not divulge the source of the photograph.

The netizen was told at the temple that he must take responsibility for his actions and ask the City God for forgiveness, Chung said, adding that the young man then knelt in front of the temple and prayed for the deity’s forgiveness.

The representatives said the man appeared to be about 20 years old.

The City God is considered both the protector of cities and a judge of dead spirits. The Tainan temple to the deity holds great significance in the nation, as it is the oldest Cheng Huang temple in Taiwan, dating back to when Cheng Chen-kung (鄭成功), better known as Koxinga to Westerners, took over Taiwan from the Dutch.

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