Taking the Risen Son to the Land of the Rising Sun
Though Japan is materially rich, it is spiritually very poor. Regularly cited as one of the “least evangelised nations on Earth”, a mere 0.4% of the population are evangelical Christians and 10 of its largest cities have no church at all.
Those who do come to know Jesus find the Christian walk a difficult one. The prevailing beliefs (including Buddhism and ancestor worship) are deeply ingrained in family culture, and a new believer can easily be disowned by their parents. The pressure to work long, hard hours means there is little time to study the Bible or focus on God, and many Christians find it hard to share their faith in case it causes offence.
A nation in need
Although hidden, there are social problems, too. Family breakdown is an increasing problem, with the divorce rate continually going up and marriages on the decline. Depression is common and nearly 100 people commit suicide every day. In a recent study, around 11% of Japanese people wish they had never been born and 85% of young people wonder why they even exist.