Japan is a beautiful country that is materially and culturally rich but spiritually poor. While most Japanese people follow at least some Shinto or Buddhist traditions, it is largely a secular nation. The economic, cultural and social pressures of modern society have led to one of the highest suicide rates in the world. And the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster has added to the fear and uncertainty.
Japan needs the hope that only Jesus Christ can bring them. But since only about 1% call themselves Christians, many people never come into contact with the Gospel. There is a great need for new missionaries, pastors, churches and ministries, particularly in this era of aging/declining population, in which there aren’t even enough pastors to lead existing churches.
The following quote is taken from the Japan page at Operation World: “Young people are becoming a ‘rare’ breed due to Japan’s low birth rate. The bonds that once held Japanese society together have rapidly dissolved, and the youngest generation are the most obvious casualties. Fully 85% of Japanese teens wonder why they exist at all, and 11% wish they had never been born. Those aged 18 to 23 are the most open to the gospel; the previously mentioned troubles that Japanese youth face explain their openness, but few actually become active believers. Student witness is one of the most strategic for the future of the Church.”
As Jesus said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” Who will answer the call to reach Japan for Christ? What part will you play?
The following video, courtesy of PrayerCast’s Japan Page, gives a beautiful look at Japan, along with several prayer points.