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Christianity is popular in Japan today

Apr 17, 2007, 08:55
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Interfax - Christianity is popular is Japan today, says Rev. Gerasim Shevtsov, father superior of the Orthodox St. Nicholas’s Monastery in Tokyo.

‘Christianity is in some sense fashionable in Japan today. Basically it is Christian wedding that has come into fashion. In Japan a great number of Catholic and Protestant chapels are being built for this ceremony’, Father Gerasim told Interfax during his recent visit to Russia.

At the same time he expressed regret that most Japanese do not go any further than this wedding ceremony.

‘Certainly there are more profound people who, having started reading Buddhist books and Christian literature earnest, become attracted to Orthodoxy. The last year I saw several people who came to church and accepted baptism. One of them even became a seminarian’, he said.

Speaking about the number of Orthodox Japanese, the priest noted that, according to the annual Council of the Japanese Church which took place in July 2006, there are some ten thousand permanent parishioners who come to church on a regular basis and give donations.

‘As a matter of fact the number of baptized Orthodox Christians is more than that. Just as in Russia, in Japan there are those who come to church only on Christmas and Easter. So the total number of Japanese who identify themselves with Orthodoxy amounts to nearly thirty thousand’, Father Gerasim informed the agency.


Nicholai KasatkinSaint Nicholai from Japan (1836 - 1912)The Orthodox Church in Japan is one of the Orthodox Churches in the world. Orthodoxy was brought into Japan from Russia by St. Nicholai in the 19th century. Although St. Nicholai was officially appointed as a chaplain for the Russian consulate in the beginning, he came with a strong missionary zeal in 1861. He not only mastered the Japanese language completely but was also well versed in Japanese culture as well as religion by the time he began his mission. His command of the language was so perfect that no one could challenge him with his translations of the Scriptures as well as the liturgical books.
The Tomb of St. Nicholai in TokyoSt. Nicholai began his missionary work after baptizing first Japanese Orthodox Christians in 1868. While his disciples were helping him by converting people in the northern area, St. Nicholai moved down to Tokyo from Hakodate. He eventually established the headquaters where the Holy Resurrection Cathedral presently stands.
His extensive work, founding seminaries, the translation center, and numerous churches and communities, witnesses his strong missionary zeal as well as the Presence of the Holy Spirit. He departed in 1912.

ather Nicholai, pray to God for us!

source: interfax

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