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The early Christians of the Goto Islands


For over 250 years until the late 19th century, Christianity was outlawed in Japan and any Japanese Christians suffered persecution. During this time, many Christians fled to the Goto Islands to practice their belief in secret, but after the ban was lifted in 1873 they began to openly express their faith and build churches for worship. Many of these historic churches remain on the Goto Islands, such as the beautiful Imochiura and Mizunoura churches on Fukue Island, along with picturesque Fuchinomoto cemetery where many of these early Christians are buried on a expansive hilltop overlooking the sea.

These places of worship are quiet, welcoming places where you can go to reflect on your own beliefs and life or pray alongside the local community. Several former Christian settlements on the Goto Islands have also now been registered as World Cultural Heritage sites.

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