Japan

Japan has a rich history and is currently recognized as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. However, estimates say 70 to 80 percent of the people do not consider themselves religious and less than one percent of population is Christian.

Sushi, geisha, ninjas and samurai... hot springs, Sony, green tea and cherry blossoms: welcome to the fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!

Japan today is known as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and yet its spiritual poverty is staggering.Although some figures say that 90% of Japanese are Shintoist and 85% are (also!) Buddhist, most Japanese would claim no personal religion at all. Evangelical Christians account for less than 0.5% of the population. Over 30,000 people commit suicide every year–the highest in the world–because people have no hope beyond this present life.

After decades of evangelisation by foreign missionaries, the church in Japan is still very small, with an average attendance of about 30 people during Sunday services. Many churches are struggling to survive; this is especially true in the countryside where you will often find churches with only four to ten believers.

Another major challenge for the church today is ageing pastors, with few or no successors. It is said that the average age of all Japanese pastors is between 60 and 70 years old. Since many of them are now retiring, the number of churches without pastors is increasing, and there are fewer young people willing to take the challenge of becoming pastors. Bible schools are closing due to lack of students. There is a great need to encourage and mobilise young Christians to be involved in ministry.

CHURCH STATISTICS

  • Japan's population is 126.4 million and is declining due to low birth rates
  • There are about 7,900 churches in Japan, which means one for every 16,000 people
  • On average, about 35 people regularly attend church, that is just 0.22% of the population
  • Each year, there is about one reported baptism for each church
  • 24 cities, 44 large towns and more than half of all other towns and villages are currently without a church
  • There are about 2,000 missionaries in Japan, just one missionary for every 63,000 Japanese

Source: Operation Japan Prayer Guide CD, Fourth Edition, 2013

ABOUT OM JAPAN

In the 1970s a few Japanese Christians joined the OM Ships. Then, in 1992, OM opened an office in Japan to send more Japanese into world missions. In recent years OM Japan team has been growing and has become a receiving field with hopes to see more foreign missionaries come to Japan and help in the enormous task of reaching out to the Japanese people.

OM Japan's vision is to strengthen the generally weak churches in Japan. We would like to see them growing and establishing fruitful ministries. By sending out Japanese to the mission field, we want to encourage the churches across Japan to be involved in the Great Commission, but at the same time provide experience and training for potential future church leaders. We're committed to work within and alongside existing churches. As our focus for local ministry remains on churches in the Hokuriku area in western Japan, we continue to support the relief and reconstruction efforts after the tsunami in Miyagi prefecture (north-eastern Japan).

GET INVOLVED

Pray for the country of Japan
Only 0.22% of the population attends church. The churches and the country as a whole are facing huge challenges. Pray that the Japanese will turn to God in their despair. Pray that God will intervene and redeem their land.

Support a growing ministry
Many churches in Japan have financial difficulties and some even struggle to support their own pastor. Your gift allows OM Japan to serve the churches without being an additional financial burden to them.

Come and join us!
If God has put a desire in your heart for the people of Japan, then please prayerfully consider how you can make yourself available to serve Him in Japan. The growing team needs help and is looking forward to seeing more people join them.

  • 1-2 weeks
    Take the challenge and come for a short summer or winter outreach in the fascinating country of Japan. Get a taste of the rich culture and share the Gospel in a variety of ways with the Japanese people.
  • 2-3 years
    Have you served with OM or another organisation in missions before and are ready for more? Make new friends and learn the Japanese language. Assisting a growing church, you can help make an eternal difference to the lost people of Japan.
  • Long term (3+ years)
    Use your professional skills in the OM Japan home office or as a ministry leader discipling, training and equipping locals and foreigners for world missions.

If you have any questions about joining OM Japan or participating in a short-term outreach, please get in touch with your local home office first. For general questions about Japan and our ministry, feel free to contact us through our website.

Pray for Japan

Thank You, Lord, for the unique country of Japan, where ancient tradition and modern technology meet peacefully. We pray for Your light to shine in the Land of the Rising Sun, that small churches struggling to survive will grow, that pastors will be found to replace those who have come of age and that the Japanese church will be strong enough to resist the power of false religions and sects. Let Your light pierce the spiritual darkness in nation marked by a high suicide rate and bring hope and life.

Support the Work in Japan

Thank you for considering a gift to further the work of OM. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us on 1-800-899-0432.

Give to the work in Japan

Go to Japan

Join our team to support the work in Japan. Find a short-term trip or long term opportunity now.

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