20 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/29/2013
JAPAN
For the first time, Japan to ask UNESCO to honour Christian sites
Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures ask Culture Minister Hakubun Shimomura to submit a list of 13 Christian locations as World Heritage Sites, including Oura Cathedral, Pius IX's 'miracle of the Orient', and various places where Christians met martyrdom. Evangelisation in Japan was subjected to one of the harshest repressions in history.

Nagasaki (AsiaNews) - For the first time in the country's history, the Japanese government plans to recommend a group of Christian locations for inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures on Tuesday submitted a draft proposal to Culture minister Hakubun Shimomura with 13 sites for consideration by the United Nations agency, which is expected to begin deliberating next year if it receives a recommendation by September.

The 13 sites include Nagasaki's Oura Cathedral, built by two French missionaries from the Société des Missions Étrangères in 1864 to honour 26 Christian martyrs, nine European and 16 Japanese crucified in 1597 on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The building itself was declared a 'national treasure' in 1933, the first Western-styled structure to be so recognised.

After its inauguration, people from the village of Urakami asked Fr Petitjean, one of the two missionaries who built the church, if they could go inside to "greet Mary". The Frenchman thus discovered that they were Kakure Kirishitans, descendants of the first Japanese Christians who went underground as a result of imperial persecution.

Tens of thousands of underground Christians followed this first group, visiting the cathedral and openly practicing their Christian faith. Told about it, Pope Pius IX called the event "a miracle of the Orient".

In addition to the cathedral, local authorities also other sites recognised, including places where Japanese Christians were martyred and some catacombs where they sought refuge during the period of persecution.

Nagasaki was the point of entry for Japan's evangelisation. Early Christians were eventually forced to go underground for about 250 years after the Tokugawa shogunate imposed a ban.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/10/2004 Unesco
Wonders of nature and Asian art are now World Heritage sites
by Monica Romano
06/24/2013 UNESCO - CHINA
With its Yunnan's rice fields and Tianshan Mountains, China climbs UNESCO ranking
01/03/2012 CHINA
Economic development destroying Chinese history
07/02/2012 PALESTINE – ISREAL
Church of the Nativity in UNESCO; Mount Tabor a "national park". It's time to save the Holy Places
by Joshua Lapide
02/08/2011 PALESTINE
Palestinians candidate Bethlehem as World Heritage Site

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.