Japan's population is less than 2 percent Christian, but a recent poll says that more than 60 percent of Japanese couples have Christian-style weddings. The statistics don't add up; there simply aren't enough clergy in the country to perform the ceremonies. No matter, reports The Japan Times: wedding companies say couples would rather have a Caucasian tourist officiating than an actual Japanese pastor.

"It is of course not a religious experience that people seek in a Christian-style wedding, but to make a fashion statement," said one wedding company spokeswoman. "Neither the participants nor venues actually want the ceremony to have religious meaning."

"The situation symbolizes Japanese people's lack of respect for religion or spirituality," laments Masato Innami, a Presbyterian pastor and head of the Kanto Christian Bridal Association. "It is not an exaggeration to say the presence of bogus priests casts shame on our country."

Related Elsewhere

Articles referenced above include:

Christian-nuptial fad calls on fake pastors | Nonclergy foreigners with Caucasian faces fill well-paid weekend niche. (Japan Times)

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