Domestic Program

Visiting Christian Heritage in Japan キリシタンの里をたずねて

Wesley Center organized a Nagasaki Mission Trip visiting Christian Heritages in Kyushu area from November 13th – 16th. A total of seven participants along with a pilgrimage guide toured Nagasaki and two islands famous for hidden Christians. We started with Oura Catholic Church in Nagasaki and then we visited Nyoko-do which is a doctor’s clinic where a doctor took care of atomic bomb survivors and he himself later died of cancer. We also saw Uragami Church where the body on a tiny stature of the Virgin Mary had half melted due to the atomic bomb.

It was very impressive that there are many churches in Nagasaki with over 100 years of history and many of them are still functioning as churches. We were overwhelmed by the rich and heavy history of Nagasaki as we listened to the tragic stories of the atomic bomb.

On two tiny islands, many little churches had gathered partially because Christians moved to avoid prosecution by the-then-government of Edo. Many of the churches were built secretly on the seashore or deep in the mountains. A person who was in his 70s said that it took 2 hours for him to attend the service as he had to go down the river in a tiny row boat. The faithfulness of the congregation and the strong “calling”of the missionaries to come over to Japan to serve strengthened their faith. We, in the i21st century, find their fervent faith astounding.