06/10/2014, 00.00
JAPAN

Nagasaki, government launches website to "rediscover" Japanese Christians

The local prefecture publishes oratio.jp, which includes the history and traditions of the Catholics in the area., the Archbishop Mgr. Takami tells AsiaNews: "It 'a choice of an economic nature which the Church must transform into a new opportunity for evangelization. We hope that the Pope's love for Japan will help us in our mission within our own society."

Nagasaki (AsiaNews) - The Japanese government's decision to advertise the presence of Christians in Nagasaki "is about the economy and tourism.  It is to promote awareness of the historical sites connected with the Church.  It has nothing to do with faith, but it is an excellent opportunity for the evangelization of the country. We really have to take advantage of this", says Msgr. Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, the Archbishop of Nagasaki, commenting on the new website launched by the local government to raise awareness of Japanese Christianity.

The site is called www.oratio.jp and thus far is only available in Japanese: versions will soon be published in both English and Korean. The purpose - admittedly - is to gain UNESCO "World Heritage" recognition for the churches and castles in the area by 2016. Built between the 16th and the 19th century, the 13 sites proposed to the UN also include Oura Cathedral, where Christians who had survived government persecution "reappeared".

According to a government official, "we placed emphasis on introducing the story of Christianity through the churches as places of prayer and in the manner in which people express their religious beliefs". In this site you will find 150 articles written by experts and residents of the area, which include the history of the churches and tourist attractions associated with them.

In this context Pope Francis' love for Japan and the recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Vatican are certainly helpful: "The interest that the pontiff has for our country is moving and important. We need to take advantage of this historic moment of the Church, in which even Japanese society is interested in Catholics, to clarify our mission and explain the Church's presence in Japan".

 

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
13/06/2008
With its Yunnan's rice fields and Tianshan Mountains, China climbs UNESCO ranking
24/06/2013
Wonders of nature and Asian art are now World Heritage sites
10/07/2004