There are over 120 million Japanese spread out through the different islands that comprise the country of Japan. The Japanese are one of the most homogenous people groups in the world. Japanese are identified by their heritage, birth in Japan, shared culture, and common language. Many Japanese will wear Western clothing for everyday activities and traditional Japanese clothing during special religious and national ceremonies. There is great pressure to be successful that the Japanese even have a word to describe their work ethic “karoshi”, or death by overwork. Many Japanese are very skeptical of established religion. Buddhism was brought to Japan in the sixth century; most Japanese classify themselves as either Shinto or Buddhist, but only about 1% identify as Christians.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
One missionary to Japan recently woke up in the middle of his first night in Japan and felt God telling him to “go to the university.” After two years of looking for an opportunity to serve on campus and meeting international students who wanted to start a Bible study on campus, the missionary received an offer to begin teaching English at the university.
On the final day of class, he invited the students to the Chi Alpha Bible study. Two students decided to come. The following week, they came back with pages of carefully written questions about the gospel. These students continue to attend Chi Alpha, which recently obtained official university-club status.
Pray that as more students attend, the ministry will grow and the gospel will spread across the campus.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
A recent Worldview magazine highlighted AGWM’s efforts in Japan. The following is an excerpt from the article:
“As I prepared for this story, I asked the same questions of the missionaries and their leadership that I always ask before arriving in a country: ‘What is your vision for the work in Japan, and where are the bright spots?’
I received the same answer from nearly everyone in the Japan field – the bright spots and key strategies for sharing the gospel, are Chi Alpha and church planting.”
To join the efforts in reaching the Japanese of Japan visit AP Spend Yourself.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Entrepreneurs: Success is a driving factor among the Japanese. Many Japanese are businesspeople who value work over many other aspects of life. How can you vocational skills be a bridge for the Japanese to know Jesus?
Readers, Writers, Speakers: Bible professors are needed to teach theology at one of the Bible Colleges in Japan which trains Japanese pastors and ministers.
Problem Solvers: Japan has the sixth largest suicide rate in the world. Nearly 30,000 Japanese commit suicide every year. Christians who are familiar with the realm of mental health and suicide prevention are greatly needed in Japan.
Interested in more opportunities? Visit Wide Open.