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Travel News Hidden Christian sites added to World Heritage list

thomas

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Twelve locations in Kyushu linked to the history of the hidden Christians have been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Shitsu Church in Nagasaki (Photo credit: TBS VISION, Inc)

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Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki (Photo credit: Nagasaki Prefecture)


UNESCO adds Japanese sites linked to persecution of Christians to World Heritage list

The sites include the Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki, the oldest surviving church in the country and which is already designated as a national treasure; the remains of Hara Castle, a site of the Shimabara-Amakusa Rebellion that led to establishment of a national policy of seclusion; and the beginning of the hidden Christians’ unique system to transmit their faith and beliefs by themselves. The sites were among 28 World Heritage candidates reviewed by the U.N.’s World Heritage Committee for four days through Monday in Bahrain.

The decision by the committee brings the total number of World Heritage sites in Japan to 22 — 18 cultural and four natural sites. The other locations include the village of Sakitsu in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture, where Christians practised their faith in secret despite persecution for most of the Edo Period (1603-1868) under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. Those who continued to practice Christianity despite persecution “nurtured distinctive cultural traditions,” according to the Japanese government. [...]


Source: UNESCO adds Japanese sites linked to persecution of Christians to World Heritage list | The Japan Times

Cardinal praises World Heritage listing of ‘hidden’ Christian sites

[...] A descendant of "hidden" Christians himself, Cardinal Manyo Maeda hailed the awarding of World Heritage status to sites related to the persecution of Japanese Christians during the Edo Period (1603-1867). [...]

His great-grandfather had been persecuted in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912), right before the ban was lifted. The great-grandfather’s three younger sisters were martyred when they were imprisoned for embracing Christianity. Maeda had once served at a church on the island where his relatives were martyred. He said people would be able to learn much from the history of hidden Christians, such as “human rights, including the preciousness of life and freedom of religious beliefs, and the importance of having a dialogue (with people who don't share similar values).”

Maeda said some of his ancestors were among those who persecuted Christians. He also noted the existence of many who were forced to renounce their Christian faith in the face of brutal oppression, which he understands had no choice but to do so. The history of hidden Christians, he said, ultimately boils down to forgiveness and atonement. “The registration contains something deep and profound in that true peace for people arrives when they live paying respect to one another,” he said.


Source: Cardinal praises World Heritage listing of ‘hidden’ Christian sites:The Asahi Shimbun


UNESCO link:
Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
 
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While I found this to be new information and welcome for that reason, I have some objections to the content itself.
(Cardinal Maeda) said people would be able to learn much from the history of hidden Christians, such as “human rights, including the preciousness of life and freedom of religious beliefs, and the importance of having a dialogue (with people who don't share similar values).”
That's rich! And hypocritical of Christianity. Just look at the bible.

human rights: apparently they ignore slavery and equality of women, not to mention tolerance of gays.
preciousness of life: except for genocide of nonbelievers, right down to slicing open pregnant women and killing all livestock.
freedom of religious beliefs: you have to be kidding! Christians are directed to kill nonbelievers. When the U.S. colonies were forming, towns warred against each other and killed fellow Christians of other denominations. And, let's not forget the Mormon War.
having a dialogue with people who don't share similar values: does that include the Mormon wars, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, and certain immigration laws?
 

thomas

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I put this news up for its touristic significance, not to engage in a religious debate. However, hailing from a Catholic country (I'm not a Catholic though) allow me a few remarks:
If you're just looking for hypocrisy, you'll find it everywhere.
 
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