“The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him.” Psalm 22:27 (NIV Version) While Japan has traditionally been classified as a Buddhist nation, the reality is that it has become increasingly post-religious. Some practices are continued: visiting and maintaining ancestral graves, wearing of good luck amulets, and registering births at the local Buddhist temple.
Even so, the majority of Japanese citizens, particularly those under age 50, do not identify as followers of any religion. In this highly competitive society it is often considered “weak” to be religious. Some have called Japan “a superpower without a moral compass.”
One result of this ennui is a high suicide rate, especially among young people. More than 30,000 each year take their own lives.
Many Japanese will pick aspects of Shintoism, Buddhism, and occult or animistic practices and develop their “personal faith” without concern about contradictions. A heavy emphasis in this belief system is that Gods are everywhere, in the stones, trees, clouds, grass, etc.
Since there are very few Christians in Japan there is a problem obtaining bibles and other faith based literature. Related to this is the fact that many of the current pastors are elderly, but can’t retire as there is no one to take over their congregation.
The majority of the Christian community in Japan is women. Since they work so many hours, men do not have time for religion. This becomes a self-reinforcing problem—few men in a church confirms the misconception that church is primarily a place for women.
A heavy emphasis in this belief system is that Gods are everywhere, in the stones, trees, clouds, grass, etc.
Ways To Pray:
• With the world’s lowest birth rate and highest life expectancy, Japan has a rapidly aging population. Pray for more Christian nursing homes and hospices, and Christian health workers from other countries to fill positions.
• Ask God to remove the spirit of delusion that leads to worship of the occult.
• Pray for a new generation of Christian leaders to be developed in Japan
Use these resources to help pray specifically each day.