A single mother in Japan has accepted Christ and been baptised, but others seeking to follow the Lord are being prevented from doing so by their families.
After suffering through a painful divorce and stress-related illness, single mother Hiromi met WEC church planters Elaine and Shuichi Kitamura, who visited her regularly as she sought the truth.
“My whole world turned dark with anxiety and fear,” said Hiromi of her divorce in 2001.
Despite her Buddhist/Shinto background, Hiromi began to read novels by a well-known Christian author and her interest in Christianity began to grow.
“At the same time the Kitamuras began to visit,” she said, “and I began to attend church and then started personal Bible studies with a view to entering the faith.”
“It was while I was in hospital with a broken leg that I first prayed in the name of Jesus.”
While Hiromi’s recent baptism was a time of rejoicing for church planters, they were recently prevented from meeting with another new believer by her Buddhist family.
“We had hoped elderly Ms Amemori would be baptised too, but we are sorry to report that all contact with her has been cut off,” said Elaine.
“Her son with whom she lives came to visit us and told us she will not be attending church services from now on and requested we not visit her.”
The Kitamuras say many people in local villages have shown an interest in following the Lord but face family pressure to remain Buddhist.
“We are in contact with other elderly people, and younger people too, who want to follow the Lord but are being held in mental and emotional captivity by their families,” said Elaine.
“Mrs Amemori is not yet strong in her faith; please pray that she will remember what she has been taught and turn her heart continually towards the Lord.”
Meanwhile, some recent surveys report that 65 percent of Japanese have no religion.
However 90 percent of Japanese people visit graves to pray and 80 percent go to a shrine in New Year.
Also, Shinto claims 109 million followers, Buddhism 96 million and Christianity 1.46 million.
The sum of these figures is nearly twice Japan’s population, a situation unparalleled in other countries.
Source: WEC Australia
Single mum baptised while others persecuted in Japan
Friday, 15 August 2008, 9:36 (EST)