News & Stories


Making connections

Christmas and Easter are foreign festivals in Japan that are growing in commercial value. These represent great opportunities to tell children about Jesus, but in Japan it isn’t easy to make the connections, as this missionary found:

During our Kid’s English Fun Club in December last year we had a couple of Christmas-related classes. The material that I used had no religious content, so I added my own to introduce the real meaning of Christmas to the children in the class. The concept of Christmas is not alien to Japanese—there are a lot of Christmas decorations and Christmas music in the shops around Christmas time. All the children seemed to know who Santa was, but no one knew what the photo of a baby that I showed them had to do with Christmas. In Western countries most children have heard of the nativity and perhaps been in a play at school—so there is a natural starting point when explaining the real meaning of Christmas, but it’s not like that in Japan.

When I saw the quizzical looks on their faces as they questioned what a baby has to do with Christmas I wondered where on earth to begin. And if Christmas is hard to explain, then what about Easter? 

Sharing the gospel with Japanese when their concept of god is so greatly different to the truth of the living God is a huge challenge. But because Japan is embracing Christmas and Easter from a commercial point of view, this actually gives us a great opportunity to share the good news of the gospel and provides a starting point as people wonder what these foreign festivals are. 

Recently Easter has become popular in Japan and you can buy all sorts of foods in the supermarket labelled “Easter Party.” Someone asked us what kind of festival Easter is, and we were able to explain the meaning of Easter and that for us as Christians it is the most important celebration of the year.

Will you pray for missionaries and churches in Japan, as they seek to build bridges between the truth of the gospel and what Japanese people know and are familiar with?

By Sarah, OMF missionary

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Give thanks for the opportunities that foreign festivals provide for sharing the gospel in Japan.
  • Pray for God to help missionaries and churches make the most of every opportunity.
  • Pray that many more Japanese would come to know and believe the truth of the living God, and by believing, have life in His name.


Share this post

Get Involved

Have Questions? Send us an email.

To help you serve better, kindly fill all the fields (required). Your query will be routed to the relevant OMF team.

Contact Form

By clicking Submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with the terms in our Privacy Policy.

You’re on the OMF International website.
We have a network of centres across the world.
If your country/region is not listed, please select our International website.