A museum displaying items related to Japanese Christians persecuted in the 17th to 19th centuries recently opened at a major Catholic church in Nagasaki, a candidate site for the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

The museum was set up on April 1 at Oura Church to show items such as a Maria Kannon — an object of worship by Christians who had to hide their faith in the Virgin Mary. The object is in the shape of a Buddhist statue representing a deity of mercy and compassion.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Nagasaki renovated the former Latin seminary and a former residence of bishops on the premises of Oura Church — which is designated as a national treasure — into the museum.