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ICC Note: It is important to remember those Christians who have been martyred in the past and Japan is often overlooked as a country in which persecution ever occurred. It is also encouraging to see the progress made in a country that, at one point, attempted to completely wipe out all Christians living there. This event is also promising for Christians in a country where only about 1 percent of the population are believers.

188 Japanese martyrs to be beatified in Nagasaki

AsiaNews (7/28/06) – This was decided by the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, to “draw near to Japan ’s great tragedies”. A nationwide appeal for funds was launched to cover the expenses of the ceremony that should be held next May.

The Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan decided at their monthly meeting to celebrate the beatification ceremony of Fr Petro Kibe and his 187 companions in Nagasaki “thus drawing near to the great tragedies of the Japanese people”.

The 188 Japanese martyrs killed in the seventeenth century for their faith include priests, religious and lay people: their cause is referred to as the “beatification of Fr Petro Kassui Kibe and his 187 companions”.

Fr Petro Kassui Kibe, a Jesuit priest, was a convert to Christianity. At first, he managed to escape persecution and went to Rome , where he joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained to the priesthood. He returned to Japan to minister to other oppressed Christians, but was captured, tortured and martyred in Tokyo in 1639…[Go To Full Story]