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Archive for the 'Religion' Category

4/17/2008

Church demolished in Japan, Xtians cries foul

Japanese Christian relics – including the Holy Grail – have been brutally demolished “by a government no better than a terrorist organization,” outraged Christian activists tell Shukan Asahi (4/18).

Pork barrel projects in the Amagusa district of Kumamoto Prefecture known for its strong links to feudal era Christianity and the greatest Christian rebellion this country has known have destroyed some of the religion’s most prized artifacts.

“The Amagusa Kurishitankan (Christian Building) was demolished as part of a restoration project funded by the special road maintenance taxes and the Christians’ Holy Grail was obliterated,” Christian activist and Amagusa citizens’ ombudsman Osamu Nakata tells Shukan Asahi. “We want to spread this message worldwide through the Vatican, the Pope and foreign media.”

Demolition of the building housing examples of Amagusa’s valuable Christian heritage took place in January this year. The work was part of about 800 million yen the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will devote to projects in about 1,300 districts across Japan, including Amagusa, over a four-year period. The demolition went ahead despite not having the required local residents’ permission.

“The government said the Kurishitankan had become too old and they would re-build it, so it had to come down. But tests on the building’s age showed no problem with its durability,” Nakata says. “They’ve spent 2.7 billion yen building white elephants in Amagusa. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.”


Read the rest here…

I can understand the anger but really, if they’ve demolished the building for whatever reasons, just build a new one. There’s no value in being attached to an inanimated object if faith is suppose to transcend all these materialistic things. With this, I have a quote I would like to share because some people just place too much emphasis on buildings and materials dedicated to their faith that without it, it’s almost like the end of the world with them.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes you a mechanic” – Laurence J. Peter

Chew on that.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Misc, Religion, Social | 1 Comment »

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12/12/2007

A Christian in Japan

The topic of religion can be a very sensitive matter to some especially when followers of a religion is steadfast about their religion being the only ONE true thing in the whole wide world while other religions are false and lies. This video is about a Christian man who is currently living in Japan with his non-Christian Japanese wife. They have a son. I applaud his beliefs of not baptizing his son at such a young and tender age because he believes that choice to be a Christian should ultimately be his son’s decision. I find that very reasonable and logical.

I personally try to respect all religions although I don’t believe in the systematic order of a religion. Reason being, I feel that a person’s relationship with god is not measured by
1) the number of times s/he goes to church/temple or
2) the number of people s/he converted or
3) the number of lines s/he is able to memorize and recite or
4) the amount of money s/he donates to the church/temple
5) the confessions made in the confession’s booth

To me God(s) does not lie in any four walls or in a book. To follow without questioning is liken to follow in the dark. While this man in the video is in Japan to be with his wife, he is also there to spread Christianity. At least, that’s what I am getting from him. I have nothing against him spreading his beliefs unless he starts shoving it down on other people, which he is not doing (which is good). But there is judgment from his video and in the comments he’s posted in replies thus far that has rubbed me the wrong way. He said that he loves truth and hates lies – implying that other religions/culture/beliefs as lies – wouldn’t that equate to hating other religions/cultures/beliefs?

In a way, while this guy sound like a friendly bloke who is open to the Japanese culture, there is an air of being judgmental in him. Well, not just him but in many Christians, I know. That look they give and that blinding deep belief that other religions are lesser and cannot be comparable to their “one true religion” ….which incidentally is being torn down bit by bit with scientific proof that Jesus isn’t more than just a human being but a great one like Martin Luther King/John Lennon of his era. Except Martin Luther King/John Lennon was not made “god” after they were shot to death.

I know the guy in the video explained how it’s not like this: Xtian = good ppl = heaven. But explaining that only means he admits that not all xtians are good people, fair enough, BUT he probably wouldn’t deny that Xtians go to heaven; while non-xtians would not.

To believe without questioning in a religious book/scripture/sutra when we are never quite sure of its authenticity is liken to following in the dark. For argument sake, how can you be sure anymore if these “holy books” are the very same passed down thousands of years ago? It’s been rewritten, re-volumed, reprinted, re-everything – passed down from one century to another, and if you’ve played the game called Chinese Whispers, you’ll know that the messaged when it reached the last person can sound very different from the original message.

To me, a religion like Christianity is like an army – recruiting as they go. Some of them even call themselves god’s army. While this guy may not be as extreme as the fools we see and read on TV and the News, it is in the essence of the Xtian teaching to convert as many people as they can with the purpose of “saving lost souls”. And in some places, this purpose is taken very seriously that it bores undesirable social expectations and actions against non-xtians. Lost souls… isn’t that a judgment to think that non-xtians are lost souls?

While I understand it’s nice to find another fellow christian in a land like Japan, it’s human nature to want to belong in a group, it’s not very feasible to want to change the culture and beliefs of the Japanese that’s already etch far too deeply in their grains – there wouldn’t be a Japan like today had the Knights of Templar set foot on this land of the far East; that we know for sure.

And since, there are many different people in the world and no one individual is the same, where is the logic that beliefs and cultures should be uniform? Believe all you want but don’t belie being human; differences is what makes the world tick.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Misc, Religion | 4 Comments »

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2/7/2007

Buddhism in Japan

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Buddhism in Japan

Buddhism and Shinto are the two major religions in Japan. In fact, these two religions are closely inter-related. The Buddhism-Shinto practice evolved over the years incorporates both religion harmoniously, although initially, there were some contradictions between the religions. The history of Buddhism in Japan can be roughly divided into three periods, namely the Nara period (up to 784), the Heian period (794–1185) and the post-Kamakura period (1185 onwards). Each period saw the introduction of new doctrines and upheavals in existing schools.

Buddhism started in India by Siddharta Gautama, an Indian prince who attained enlightenment after meditating under the Bodhi tree and thus, he is called the Buddha or the Enlightened one. The religion consists of His teachings, which consists of the 8 fold path and the 3 Gems, to which his disciples are to understand and the 5 precepts to which they are to follow. Buddhism is divided into two branches; Theravada and Mahayana. Mahayana is the branch that found its way to Japan from China and Korea.

Buddhism was imported to Japan via China and Korea in form of a present from the friendly Korean kingdom of Kudara (Paikche) in the 6th century. While Buddhism was welcomed by the ruling nobles as Japan’s new state religion, it did not initially spread among the common people due to its complex theories.

Buddhism did not have a straightforward root to the Japanese culture. It was once almost eradicated during the Meiji Period where the emperor re-installed Shinto as the state religion. However, after the fall of Meiji, Buddhism somehow gain it’s stand again in Japan and now co-exist with Shinto almost harmoniously. A great statue of the Buddha can be seen at Kamakura.

People in Japan either consider themselves, Shintoist, Buddhists or both. That said, the Japanese are not very religious in the sense that they do not live their life according to their religion. The average Japanese typically follows the rituals from their religious beliefs on matters like birth, weddings and death only. Today, there are 90million people in Japan who consider themselves Buddhists.

Source: Japan-Guide; Wikipedia

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Culture, Religion, Social | 1 Comment »

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