Religion: Lepers

In 1632 the Shogun of Japan, then busy extirpating Christianity with fire and sword, loaded 134 "converted Christians" on a ship and sent them to the Spanish missionaries in Manila with a letter saying: "If it is converts you want, begin with these." They turned out to be lepers, soon spread the disease. Before 1632 there was no leprosy in the Philippines.

The Jesuit Mission Press in Manhattan dug up this ancient history in reporting that today's Japanese invasion has brought 6,000 Filipino lepers on the blockaded island of Culion near starvation.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!