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Atsuyoshi Fujiwara has been a pastor and scholar in Japan since 1999. Immediately after the March 2011 disaster, he joined volunteers in relief work and believes the Japanese church's rapid response is a key reason why some Japanese are giving Christianity ...

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Steve Skeete

August 01, 2013  10:38am

'In Japan, although Christianity has always been in a minority, the church wanted to become like the church in Europe or in America, with prestige and influence'. I found this article extremely thought-provoking. It raised a number of questions for me such as: 1) should believers participate in national festivals with non-Christian roots? 2) Should the Church seek to be a separate community or be immersed in the general culture? 3) Should the Church actively seek for prestige and influence in the community? 4) And what should the Church having 'attained' prestige and influence do with these? The interview made it even more obvious to me that for the Church in Japan, or anywhere else for that matter, to model itself after the Church in Europe (what's left of it) or the USA, would be to make a terrible mistake. The Church everywhere must follow the N.T model. N.T. believers lived as a redeemed people in a 'pagan' world and as a result were able to reach that world for Christ.

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Raymond Swenson

July 27, 2013  3:00am

Japan's people, in the land of my ancestors, have been singularly resistant to Christianity. One of my great-great grandfathers was a samurai who joined the Russian Orthodox Church during the Meiji era. The surge in nationalism and State Shinto in the years leading up to World War II made it difficult to find people humble enough to consider the gospel of Christ. The humility that Japan acquired after its defeat led to a surge in conversions, but pride in growing Japanese prosperity has made people already preoccupied with hours of work and commuting and study and little free time very reluctant to even listen to Christians. Just as a reversal in our personal prosperity can open our hearts to God, perhaps the awful tragedy of the Tohoku tsunami can help some more of the hearts of my Japanese cousins become sensitive to the still small voice that speaks of the redeeming grace of Christ.

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Freddy Heynssens

July 26, 2013  7:18am

Very good witness. By doing good we show the love of God and this opens the door for the believers to be heard. Our witness needs not to be in word only but in deeds and especially those who are in need. May God fill our hearts with His love to reach out with words and deeds.

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