Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Why Japan Wants Its Past Persecution of Christians to Be World Renowned

A dozen “hidden Christian” sites on verge of gaining UNESCO World Heritage status.

This month, a dozen Christian landmarks in Japan—where just 1 percent of the population claims Christ—have been officially recommended to be named World Heritage sites.

Spanning across the Nagasaki and Amakusa region, these sites represent places where believers during the Tokugawa shogunate (1630-1867) suffered the harshest persecution and martyrdom in the Asian nation’s history.

The list includes the Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki, which memorializes 17 Japanese Christians and 9 European priests who were crucified at the order of the ruler; Hara Castle in Minamishimabara, a battlefield during the uprising when Catholic rebels were massacred, their leader beheaded, and their faith banned; and other “hidden Christian” sites, where Christ-followers carried on their beliefs in secret for hundreds of years.

These landmarks, if granted recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) next month, would join 14 other cultural World Heritage sites in Japan and over 800 around the world. Read More

No comments: