Most Japanese people identify themselves both as Buddhists and Shintoists. on the other hand, surveys have also consistently shown that only one-third of the people profess a religious faith. This apparent anomaly can be explained by the fact that many Japanese people do not understand “religion” in the same way that Westerners do. Most people are not interested in religious beliefs, but rather practise religion for the functions it fulfils in their lives. It is not unusual for a person to go through three sets of religious rites within a lifetime: a Shinto dedication at birth, a Christian-styled white wedding, and a Buddhist funeral.
In summary, most people have little problem practising more than one religion, since each religion provides different benefits at different times. The truth of preaching Christ as the only way to salvation presents a huge challenge.
- That many Japanese people will know Christ as the only One who can meet all their needs.
- For all Christians to be given spiritual wisdom, courage, and power to hare the gospel effectively with their friends and fmaily members.
From: 31 Days of Pray for Japan (published by OMF Japan, 2014)