Religion: The Forgotten Martyrs

A century ago the first Protestant missionaries set foot in Japan.† What they found was not merely indifference or suspicion, but a ferocious hatred of Christianity that had been fostered by three centuries of relentless persecution. In last week's Christian Century, Presbyterian Missionary Richard H. Drummond tells of the all-but-forgotten martyrdom of Japan's first Christians.

Death by the Pit. When St. Francis Xavier and a small group of Portuguese Jesuits introduced the Japanese to Christianity in 1549, their success was striking: in only a little more than a generation there were between...

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