Christianity was introduced in the sixteenth century by
Portuguese and Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries, but,
was associated with Western imperialism and considered a
Japanese political control, it was banned from the
century to the mid-nineteenth century
(see Seclusion and Social Control
, ch. 1). With the reopening of Japan in the
missionaries again arrived. While fewer than 1 million
than 1 percent of the population) consider themselves
the early 1990s, Christianity is respected for its
society, particularly in education and social action.
more than 7,600 places of Christian worship in Japan. In
1980s, about 64 percent of all Christians belonged to
churches, about 32 percent to the Roman Catholic Church,
4 percent to other Christian denominations.
Data as of January 1994