UNESCO Adds Historic Christian Sites in Japan to World Heritage List

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has announced that historic Christians sites in Japan will be added to their World Heritage List.

In a statement released Saturday, UNESCO noted that the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region were one of four entities newly added to the Heritage List.

These hidden sites are found among 10 villages based on Kyushu Island and include a castle and a cathedral all constructed between the 16th and 19th centuries, which was a time of persecution for the island nation’s Christian minority.

“Together they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan – the phase of encounter, followed by times of prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith and the final phase of the revitalization of Christian communities after the lifting of prohibition in 1873,” stated UNESCO.

“These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century.”

The other three entities being added to the Heritage List include Victorian Gothic and Art Deco ensembles in Mumbai, India; Sassanid archaeological sites in the Fars region of Iran; and a collection of Buddhist mountain monasteries in South Korea.

The four sites were chosen by the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in Manama, Bahrain, from June 24-July 4.

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Source: Christian Post