31 January 2007, 11:17
Orthodox abbot in Tokyo: Christianity is popular in Japan today
Moscow, January 31, Interfax - Christianity is popular is Japan today, says Rev. Gerasim Shevtsov, father superior of the Orthodox St. Nicholas’s Monastery in Tokyo.
‘Christianity is in some sense fashionable in Japan today. Basically it is Christian wedding that has come into fashion. In Japan a great number of Catholic and Protestant chapels are being built for this ceremony’, Father Gerasim told Interfax during his recent visit to Russia.
At the same time he expressed regret that most Japanese do not go any further than this wedding ceremony.
‘Certainly there are more profound people who, having started reading Buddhist books and Christian literature earnest, become attracted to Orthodoxy. The last year I saw several people who came to church and accepted baptism. One of them even became a seminarian’, he said.
Speaking about the number of Orthodox Japanese, the priest noted that, according to the annual Council of the Japanese Church which took place in July 2006, there are some ten thousand permanent parishioners who come to church on a regular basis and give donations.
‘As a matter of fact the number of baptized Orthodox Christians is more than that. Just as in Russia, in Japan there are those who come to church only on Christmas and Easter. So the total number of Japanese who identify themselves with Orthodoxy amounts to nearly thirty thousand’, Father Gerasim informed the agency.
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