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Japanese Christian. Source: leungchopan / Adobe Stock.

Kakure Kirishitan: Japan’s Forbidden Faith (Video)


In 1614, a storm of persecution raged across Japan as Christianity was declared illegal. The crackdown led to the arrest and execution of missionaries, pushing the faithful underground. These courageous believers, known as 'Kakure Kirishitan' or 'Hidden Christians ,' refused to renounce their faith and embarked on a secret journey that would span over two centuries. To evade capture, the Hidden Christians ingeniously merged their Christian beliefs with elements of Buddhism and Shinto, fashioning a captivating hybrid version of their religion. Their worship became a thrilling dance between clandestine rituals and concealed symbols, all shielded behind closed doors and hidden rooms.

Through whispered prayers and hushed teachings , the Hidden Christians kept their faith alive, passing it down from generation to generation. Written texts were confiscated and burned, but the fire of their devotion could not be extinguished. They navigated the shadows, weaving together the threads of their forbidden faith with the tapestry of Japanese tradition. It wasn't until the 19th century that the sun finally rose on their hidden world. With Japan's isolation ending, the Hidden Christians emerged, resplendent in their resilience and unwavering spirit.

Top image: Japanese Christian. Source: leungchopan / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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