1. About The Nagasaki Church Group and this Association

"The Association for declaring the Nagasaki Church Group a World Heritage"
Our Association is composed of volunteers from different areas. It hopes to achieve the goal of World Heritage registration for the Nagasaki Church Group.  We started our activities on September 15, 2001 and have kept on growing from that date on.
Knowing the splendid value and long history of belief of the Nagasaki Church Group, we want to make it known to all people, inside and outside the Nagasaki Prefecture. A World Heritage registration would become an external expression of this internal process.
It is often said: “Compared with the European churches, the Japanese Churches are neither as beautiful nor as ancient.” But if we take the survival of a persecuted faith, the beautiful melting of each building with the natural environment, the simplicity and creative use of limited resources, we can assuredly state that they are unique in the whole world.
We know that to obtain the registration of these buildings as World Heritage will not be easy, but because we think it is possible, we have started this process and we hope to see the fruits of it some day.

Purpose of this Home Page
We hope this Home Page will help people to know and to become interested in this Nagasaki Church Group and to support this campaign towards registration. First of all, we hope to offer the necessary information, so the people from different specialties can participate, collaborate, and give suggestions.

Chart 1. Triangle of the Nagasaki Church Group distribution

triangle

As shown in Chart 1, The Nagasaki Church Group designates Hirado, Ikitsuki, Goto and Nagasaki city area, in an approximately 100 km wide triangle.

The history of the Japanese church goes back 450 years of which a long period has been of persecution and hardships. Starting with the Oura Church, many churches arose in the last 140 years, (see Chart 2).

         Chart 2. History of the Nagasaki Church


Christian
Era

1549
1550
1560
1571
1576
1582
1587
1597
1614
1637
1644

Arrival of St. Fr. Xavier to Japan
Xavier lands in Hirado
Evangelization in Yokoseura, Shimabara and Goto
Nagasaki Port opening
The Nanbanji temple (Church) is built in Kyoto
The Four Young Envoys leave for Europe (return in 1590)
Toyotomi Hideyoshi prohibits Christianity, the churches of Kyoto and Osaka are destroyed.
26 Japanese Martyrs martyrdom in Nagasaki (declared saints in 1862)
The Edo Government Prohibits Christianity
Shimabara rebellion (37000 Christians died)
The last Priest Mancio Konishi died as martyr




Hidden
Christians
Period

1653
1797
1859
1864
1865
1867
1868
1873

The Foreign Missionaries Society is established with the purpose of evangelizing the Far East
The emigration from Sotome to Goto starts
Through the Ansei Treaty, Nagasaki Port is opened
Frs. Petitjean, Faure and others finish the Oura Church
Fr. Petitjean meets Christians in Nagasaki after 250 years of oppression
The "Falling of the 4th. block" of Urakami starts (3384 Christians exiled)
Fr. De Rotz reaches Japan
Christianity prohibition boards are abolished



Christian
Revival Period

1882
1888
1889
1893
1902
1910
1915
1919
1959
1981

Fr. De Rotz finishes Shitsu Church
The Catholic Nagasaki Diocese is established
The Meiji Constitution declares religious freedom
Fr. De Rotz finishes Ono church
Fr. Marman finishes Kuroshima Church
Aosagaura Church completion
Old Urakami Church completion
KashiragaShima Church completion
Nagasaki Archdiocese promotion
Pope John Paul II visits Japan and comes to Nagasaki