This is the Jesus who speaks from the fumie, whose love extends to apostasy and beyond. When Francis left Japan, he was hopeful about the modest inroads he had made bringing the gospel to the Japanese. And for a time Christianity did seem to flourish there. By 1582, two hundred churches served 150,000 Japanese believers. Refusing marked them as a Christian, and they could be burned alive, thrown into the sea, or tied to a stake on the beach where they were beaten to death by the changing ocean tides.
Note: Today is the birthday of the great Japanese Catholic novelist Shusaku Endo. To mark the occasion, we're posting an essay John wrote for. Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture (IVP, 2010) about Endo's powerful novel, Silence.
As promised, he connects the Portuguese priests with clandestine Christians in a fishing village. Rodrigues and his companion hide in a charcoal hut where they hear confessions and perform baptisms. When local officials send armed samurai to intimidate the village, the priests are forced to separate and flee. The Jesus I Never Knew and, soul Survivor, summed up the potency of Endos writing: The most poignant legacy of Jesus was his unquenchable love, even forespecially forpeople who betrayed him. 5 stars 3 4 stars 3 stars 3 2 stars 1 star 1, we calculate the overall star rating using only reviews that our automated software currently recommends. Learn more. Though Christians comprised less than one percent of the Japanese population, Endo, a Catholic, was a fixture on the bestseller lists. Philip Yancey, who helped introduce Endo to many American Christians in his books.