More
    NewsWorldHidden Christian Sites in Japan Up for World Heritage...

    Hidden Christian Sites in Japan Up for World Heritage Status

    -

    A UNESCO advisory panel recommended several hidden Christian sites in Japan to be added to the World Heritage list.

    The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) informed the government of Japan that it endorsed a dozen sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures for World Heritage status. These sites are related to the persecution of Japanese Christians during the Edo period (1603-1867), according to Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

    Christianity was believed to have been extinct after the 250-year ban, but missionaries learned about the Christians through confessions.

    The official decision to include the hidden Christian sites to the list is expected to be made at a meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain from June 24 to July 4, 2018.

    To protect and continue with their faith, early Christians in Japan sought refuge to these sites after the Tokugawa Shogunate banned Christianity from the 17th to 19th centuries. Most of the Christians hid in Nagasaki Prefecture. Some of the locations where believers secretly practiced their faith include the small islands of Kuroshima, Kashiragashima, and Nozakijima.

    Christianity was believed to have been extinct after the 250-year ban, but missionaries learned about the Christians through confessions. In 1873, after the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the government legalized Christianity.

    Another Christian site nominated to the World Heritage list is the Oura Church in Nagasaki. Built in the late Edo Period, it is the oldest wooden church in Japan. It is known for the story about the “Discovery of the Flock.” The Oura church was where hidden Christians confessed to a French priest that they shared the same faith.

    Hideo Hattori, a professor emeritus of Kyushu University, welcomed the nomination of the hidden Christian sites.

    “Hidden religious practices were apparently made possible for a long period of time due to tolerance of religions in Japan, despite the suppression of Christianity,” he said in an interview with The Japan News.

    He added that, “Political power can’t fully control the human mind. This is indeed the lesson learned from Christian-related sites.”

    Sources:
    The Asahi Shimbun
    The Japan News
    Visit Nagasaki

    Joyce Dimaculangan
    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

    Stunt Bikers Spread the Gospel Worldwide

    Action Sports Outreach (ASO) was in Festival Manchester with a mission to share their faith as they do artistic twists and jumps with their bicycles.

    Indonesia Boosts Digital Evangelism

    Hundreds of communication leaders in Indonesia gathered in Bali to reinforce digital evangelism in the country.

    Gospel Reaches 100 Million People Thru Billy Graham Online Ministry

    Over 100 million people worldwide have encountered the Gospel through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's (BGEA) internet evangelism ministry called Search for Jesus.

    5 Organizations in FL Honored as Certified Best Christian Workplaces

    Five organizations in Florida were named as Certified Best Christian Workplaces in the first half of 2022.

    ‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest movie, perfectly captures the emotions of adoption 

    Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly entertainment choices on film, DVDs, streaming or television. Filmmakers...

    Christians Denounce Greene’s Call for Christian Nationalism

    Thousands of Christians in the US signed a petition denouncing a lawmaker's call for Christian nationalism.

    Must read

    Christians Denounce Greene’s Call for Christian Nationalism

    Thousands of Christians in the US signed a petition denouncing a lawmaker's call for Christian nationalism.

    Christian Groups Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Bill

    More than 80 Christian groups in the US condemned the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In a letter signed by 83 faith-based groups, it called the Senate to oppose the said bill which they claim is an attack on people of faith.

    You might also likeRELATED
    Recommended to you