Michael Hoffman’s The Living Past article on Dec. 20, titled “Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack,” gives a well-researched history of Japan’s first encounter with the Christian faith 400 to 500 years ago, but says little of what has been happening since then. There is much to be encouraged by in Japan in the 21st century.
People are coming to understand that the very essence of Christianity is a relationship — something the Japanese value highly. People are realizing that the choices they make are key: Do you spend your time investing in relationships with family, friends, colleagues and those in need, or waste it on pachinko, porn, materialism, etc.
Having lived in Kobe and visited Tohoku many times, I see people starting to question their choices in the light of eternity, not just the few years we have been given on earth.
Japan Christian Link, originally named Japan Evangelist Band (JEB) or Nihon Dendo Tai, was founded in 1903 and grew to 180 workers within 30 years. Scores of Christian communities thrive today as a result.
Now Christians are sharing the truth they’ve found with today’s generation in new and increasingly relational ways: with those in need via CRASH Japan, using modern media such as 7 Media, as well as the opportunity to explore the meaning of life through the Alpha Course or Salaryman groups such as the VIP Club.
How the Christian truth is told has evolved, but the message remains the same today — whatever our cultural heritage or however much we messed up in the past.
kent, united kingdom
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.