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Author Topic: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?  (Read 9658 times)

Susan

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Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« on: October 04, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »
As I read about the prevalence of earthquakes, Floods, tsunamis and the lastest volcano eruptions that killed so many, I am struck by the fact that among nations, there are so few Christians in Japan. CXan it possibly be that God is sovereign over these calamities because of their lack of response to Christianity as other nations have responded? It just makes me wonder why there are so few Christians in Japan, and why are so opposed to Christianity. In fact, they say Japan is one of the most secular nations of the world. Why? And is there any correlation you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Japan

I also looked up the above link which was also interesting.


Frank Mortimer

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 07:11:32 AM »

I would say that it is probably because they have such a long standing sense of family and tradition and so hold more to the old ways and tend not to trust outsiders. Their tradition is generally the Shinbutsu shūgō mostly consisting of Buddhism and Kami, but generally no real Religion at all. Which really seems strange to me as most believe in souls or spirits existing even in Dolls, or of a type of reincarnation. It's difficult to explain.

Do I think their unbelief results in them having more troubles and calamities? I can't really say yes or no. It does seem odd sometimes but on the other hand, it could be just coincidence. These days, a lot of people are opposed to any religion as somehow they blame all the problems of the world on religion, money or leaders.

Wcjciech Semkowski

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 10:06:59 AM »
Quote
Why are there so few Christians in Japan?

For the same reason that there are so few Christians in Israel, Saudi Arabia, China, Denmark and many other countries. It's hard to make inroads in a closed society that frowns on, and is suspicious of outsiders and new traditions, and have a great pride in their own heritage. Pride cometh before a fall. Israel was proud of their heritage and thought that made them something, it cost them also.

 Psalms 10:4 "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."

This is the expression of self-conceit and the pride of nationalism. The antitype ofthe humble and open minded.


Reformed Baptist

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 05:55:44 PM »
Interesting. I didn't realize that Christians were so scarce in Japan. For Instance, there are a lot of Christians in the Muslim country of Turkey, so this surprises me that there are not a lot in Japan. You would think there would be more in Japan.


Maurice

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 08:39:53 PM »
Psalms 10:4 "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."

This is the expression of self-conceit and the pride of nationalism. The antitype of the humble and open minded.

So you're saying that nationalism is sin? Or that because Japanese like to marry Japanese and protect their heritage, that makes them prideful and against Christianity? I don't think that is true. On what basis do you make that claim?

Margaret

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2014, 12:10:52 PM »
Interesting. I didn't realize that Christians were so scarce in Japan. For Instance, there are a lot of Christians in the Muslim country of Turkey, so this surprises me that there are not a lot in Japan. You would think there would be more in Japan.

Hello fellow Christians. Newbe here. I thought I'd chime in on this subject since its one that has fascinated me and a lot of other Christians as well. It is true that Japan is one of the least evangelized nations in the world, but I think it's less cultural as it is a lack of being given knowledge of Christianity. The Japanese unfortunately hold to a belief that no view should be taken to be absolute. So they practice what is called "shinbutsuju shugo", which allows them to be open to all religions as acceptable, and less inclined to accepting one religion as being the truth. This allows them to accept Japan's popular religions of Shinto, Buddhism and Confucianism to co-exist without strife, but are ignorant of Christianity because they think it places restraints, when it truly frees. And since Christianity boasts it is the only true religion and there is only one God, they collectively do not gravitate to it and so don't really know what true Christianity teaches. There have actually been studies on why Japan has so few Christians. It's a sad state of affairs in Japan as far as Christianity goes, since there was such a great opportunity to witness following War War II that Christians never took advantage of. It's a shame that Western faithful Christians have not really been evangelical for some time now, and that's part of the reason no real growth of Christianity has occurred in Japan.

Kevin Wright

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2014, 01:54:46 PM »
Welcome Margaret, I'm relatively new myself. I like your post and actually I wasn't even aware that there were not a lot of Japanese Christians until I read this thread and then Googled it. I guess it's difficult to break paganist history that is so deeply rooted.

billnjune

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2014, 02:13:43 PM »
Welcome Margaret,

May I welcome you to Mountain Retreat.  I do hope that you will enjoy your stay here. 

I have lived in Japan for 10 years, but had no idea of religion while I was there.  I believe that your analysis of Japan is very correct.  The existence of true Christianity is basically non-existent. After returning to the U.S. in 1974, I became very interested in the things of God, but I never returned to Japan.  I felt sure that with my Japanese language skills that if I was to become a Christian, surely I would have to return to Japan as a missionary. Instead God grabbed my heart and took me to Russia (of all places) instead.  I still follow the news and events of Japan, but my time of travel has passed.  I still pray for Japan and have many old friends there.  I pray that God will raise up someone to do a mighty work there.

May God bless you and keep you,

Bill & June
Billnjune.patton@gmail.com
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John

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Big Ben

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 01:58:43 AM »
For one thing, the Japanese idea of oneness, their spiritualism, their pride and their religious concepts of harmony, are all contradictory to Christianity, and so it should be no surprise to anyone that there are few Japanese Christians. It's probably one of the few industrialized countries where you can generalize of their reprobation specifically because there are so few Christians.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Why+are+there+so+few+Christians+in+Japan&hl=en&gbv=2&oq=Why+are+there+so+few+Christians+in+Japan

But have no tears, for if God wanted a great election from Japan, there would be one. Agree?


Stan Pat

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 03:41:12 AM »
But have no tears, for if God wanted a great election from Japan, there would be one. Agree?


I would say yes, yes and no. Yes, we should have tears for them because we should mourn for all God's creation. And there but for the grace of God go I. And Yes, I agree that if God wanted a great election and outpouring of the spirit in Japan, there would be one. God's will is done.  But No, that doesn't mean Christians should either have a defeatist attitude towards them, nor that we shouldn't seek to evangelize the people there. Right up until the end.

 Mark 13:10
 "And the gospel must first be published among all nations".

That command to preach the gospel to all nations has not been abrogated.


Peng Bao

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 11:12:05 AM »
I'm from China, but have worked in Japan and our people and the Japanese have a long standing cultural feud going that has stood between any evangelism. But lately, it seems to be thawing. While Christians view the world in terms of good and evil, God and Satan, right and wrong, the Japanese view it much differently than people do in the west. They lean toward supernaturalism and are deeply rooted in old pagan spiritualisms. In fact, so much that they even believe the dolls that they traditionally give their children have souls. They take them out and set them up once a year and then put them away until another year. So when Christians reject such views and such traditions as being contrary to God's laws (and rightly so), the Japanese react to these truths very poorly and see it as an attack on their culture rather than something setting them free.

Also, many believe in gods (plural) but only in terms of getting favors or pleasing them with rituals or burning incense or giving thanks. Reincarnation is another belief that contradicts the Christian doctrines that were preached by missionaries, so it's just one thing on top of another that pulls them away from Christ. If you are familiar with their culture, you could probably make inroads. But to just come from the west preaching Christ without knowing their customs has been a hard sell. Even for other Asians.

Of course, with God all things are possible.

Kevin Wright

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 03:22:11 PM »
It is strange though. You would think that with their intellect, at least some of them (in numbers) would be interested, if even for the logic of Christianity and the harmony of it.  :thinker:

Dryfus

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2014, 11:56:18 AM »
The Japanese are so full of themselves, God resists them.  The Japanese think they are so much smarter and better than everyone else, and everyone wants to call it cultural pride when it's really that they think they are singularly the best people in the world and that other nations are primitive and lack their intellect in comparison. They don't know that their intellect and knowledge is foolishness to God and he resists them. And the proof is, a lot of the undeveloped countries people are becoming Christian while God has resisted Japan.

 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Japan can glory in their own eyes but not in God's eyes. You may think the Japanese have such great intellect, but God sees it as foolishness because not many are called by him and chosen.  That's the bottom line of Why! Why there are so few Christians in Japan. Because God elected so few Christians in Japan. And he did so for a reason. Christians just can't swallow the reason. It gets caught in their throat.



The whole world is a Stage

George

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2014, 02:58:07 PM »
From the sound of it, Christians have almost as high an opinion of the Japanese as the Japanese themselves.  :baghead:

For the record, in Japanese belief, Kofuku is the goddess of misfortune and there are seven gods of fortune. They are Hotei, Jurojin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten (Benten-sama), Daikokuten (Daikoku) and Ebisu. The Japanese have more gods than you can count, so it's no wonder there is not a great work of evangelism going on there. Wiki has a list that doesn't even begin to cover them all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_deities

While I don't know if Dryfus's comments are necessarily true, I do know that the Japanese have a super high opinion of themselves. More than people of other nations. Germany wasn't the only people who thought of themselves as the master race. And God does resist the proud and give grace to the humble so that "seems" to be the case here. I do agree with the comment that if God had wanted there to be a great revival in Japan, there would be. So what does that say?


 


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