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Christianity in Japan
Japan has been a home for Shinto and Buddhist religions for centuries. The Christian missionaries during the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries worked hard to evangelize the Japanese nation but could not get desired success. There efforts in past failed partly due to sanctions imposed by the local rulers. The Jesuits missionaries traveled with Spanish and Portuguese traders to many areas of America and Asia-Pacific and established their churches and religious missions. They were funded, sponsored and trained by their respective governments in order to spread Christianity. At several places they preached the Christian faith by force but the aboriginal population did not accept it wholeheartedly. Initially the Jesuits targeted the elite class of the country and a large number was converted. The rulers also forced their subject to embrace the same faith. About 300,000 Japanese were converted in the first phase. Later on, Christianity was prohibited as the rulers started seeing them as a threat to their authority. Following a change of regime, the ban was lifted and missionaries were again allowed to enter Japan. Like many Native American tribes, the Japanese also resisted the new religion. As a result, presently Christians form only 1% of the total population in Japan. This paper is focused on how the Christian religion was introduced in Japan, the evolution of evangelism, establishment of churches, the restrictions and hurdles faced by the missionaries and priest of the new religion and the response of Japanese nation towards an alien faith. All these queries are answered in detail given as follows.
Christianity in Japan spread in various phases. Like many other parts of world, it was brought by religious missionaries and the European traders and invaders. It is almost in middle of the 16th century that the Portuguese traders arrived on the "land of rising sun". The... [continues]
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