NewsWorldJapan's "Hidden" Christian Sites Added to World Heritage List

Japan’s “Hidden” Christian Sites Added to World Heritage List

-

It’s official! UNESCO added on June 30, 2018 to the World Heritage list the 12 sites in Japan linked to the history of persecuted Christians.

In a meeting in Bahrain, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to protect the historic sites and awarded them World Heritage status. Most of the sites are located in Nagasaki Prefecture, reports The Japan Times.

It conveys a major message about how essential religious faith is. —Cardinal Manyo Maeda

The Oura Cathedral, the Asian nation’s oldest church, is included in the prestigious list. A national treasure, the Oura church served as home to hidden Christians who escaped persecution for most of the Edo Period (1603- 1868).

Other sites on the World Heritage List include the Hara Castle Ruins, known as the final battle ground of a large uprising of Christian peasants; and the village of Sakitsu in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture where Japanese Christians practiced their faith in secret.

According to UNESCO, the sites “bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century.”

The local government and residents of Nagasaki Prefecture celebrated the honor and recognition given to these newly added sites. In a statement, Nagasaki Gov. Hodo Nakamura said, “We would like to give pride to residents and excitement to visitors through this heritage by engaging in preservation of the sites and revitalization of the region.”

Meantime, Cardinal Manyo Maeda praised the World Heritage listing of the sites, reports The Asahi Shimbun. “It conveys a major message about how essential religious faith is,” he said.

Cardinal Maeda’s ancestors were persecuted Christians in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912). He said having these sites recognized will allow people to learn more about the story and heroism of “hidden” Christians. People will know about “human rights, including the preciousness of life and freedom of religious beliefs, and the importance of having a dialogue (with people who don’t share similar values).”

Sources:
The Japan Times
The Asahi Shimbun

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.

Latest news

Calls for Prayers and Action Following Texas School Shooting

At least 19 children and two teachers were gunned down inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24. Church leaders, politicians, and celebrities called for prayers and concrete actions following these acts of terror.

Fourth Lausanne Congress to be Held in Seoul 2024

The fourth Lausanne Movement will be held in Seoul, South Korea on September 2024. Also known as the Fourth Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, the event will gather thousands of Christian leaders worldwide.

New Research Released on the State of Faith in the UK

A coalition of Christian organizations released a new research on the state of faith and perceptions of Jesus in the UK.

Black and Asian Christians Hold Solidarity Walk in NY

Scores of Christians, religious leaders, activists and community members came together in Chinatown, New York on May 14 and joined "Walk of Faith," a march of support to Asian communities amid heightened anti-Asian violence.

Kel Mitchell’s Journey From Actor to Pastor

Former Nickelodeon star Kel Mitchell shares his journey from being one of the most successful actors in Hollywood to becoming a youth pastor in California.

After 800 years, Church of England Apologizes for Anti-Jewish Laws

A church service in London on May 8, 2022 marked the 800 years of the Synod of Oxford. The Church of England apologized for its "shameful actions" for the synod.

Must read

Calls for Prayers and Action Following Texas School Shooting

At least 19 children and two teachers were gunned down inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24. Church leaders, politicians, and celebrities called for prayers and concrete actions following these acts of terror.

Fourth Lausanne Congress to be Held in Seoul 2024

The fourth Lausanne Movement will be held in Seoul, South Korea on September 2024. Also known as the Fourth Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, the event will gather thousands of Christian leaders worldwide.

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you