Founded in 1888, the Greek Orthodox Church in Japan has a rich history of worshiping the true nature of God. It is also known for its liturgical style and charitable work. The Greek Orthodox Church is the largest church in Japan, with a total membership of 200,000.
Russian Hieromonk Nikolay Kassatkin became a priest in Hakodate
During the Russo-Japanese War, the Russian Orthodox Church was faced with a difficult situation. There were seventy-three thousand Russian POWs in Japan, and the Orthodox Church had to attend to their spiritual needs. In the meantime, the situation improved, and the Orthodox Church grew during the war. In the year 1912, the Orthodox Church in Japan had over thirty-three thousand members.
During his mission in Japan, Nikolai Kasatkin was able to provide Russian language lessons to the Japanese, and translated liturgical books into Japanese. He also made astronomical observations and collected flora and fauna. He attended popular gatherings and learned Japanese culture.
In September 1861, Nicholas met Archbp. Innocent. Despite his young age, he was baptized and ordained a monk. Then he secretly baptized three of his neighbors in April 1868.
He returned to Japan in 1871. After his persecution ended, Father Nikolai built a church and school in Tokyo. In 1872, he was promoted to the rank of archimandrite. He taught Russian language to the Japanese, translated liturgical books into Japanese, and helped build a stone temple.
During the Meiji era, the Orthodox Church in Japan was influenced by the Church in late nineteenth century Russia. The Book of Psalms, the oldest song book of early monasteries, was translated into Japanese and used in the Liturgy. Church music books were also re-written in the modern full score style.
The Orthodox Church in Japan is under the jurisdiction of Moscow Patriarchate. Moscow Patriarchate has a presence in a number of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Azerbaijan. The Russian Orthodox Church has been active in Japan since the late 18th century.
In the early 1900s, several Japanese youths graduated from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Metroplia and became leaders of the Japanese Church. This prompted the Japanese government to have a closer look at the church. It was suspected that the Soviets were using the Japanese Orthodox Church as a spy cover.
The Orthodox Church in Japan has also published religious books and liturgical texts. During the Second World War, the Japanese Orthodox Church had to deal with severe conditions. The church was also inundated with 73,000 Russian POWs held by Japan. These prisoners of war built chapels for the Orthodox Church.
Donations for welfare activities
Among the many charities and social welfare organizations in Japan, the Greek Orthodox Church has earned the adulation and accolades for its philanthropic endeavors. In fact, the Church has contributed more than half a billion dollars in humanitarian assistance over the past five years. The Church is more than willing to engage in a collaborative partnership with other faith-based institutions to further its mission. In addition to its traditional charitable activities, the Church has made a series of strategic moves to strengthen ties with local organizations and institutions. In particular, the Church is partnering with the Japan Association for the Blind and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police to enhance access to a new, augmented reality service designed to improve safety and quality of life for individuals with visual disabilities.
The most important lesson from this partnership is that the Church is not alone in its quest to improve the quality of life for its members. The Church’s commitment to the welfare of its members is matched by its support of the community at large. For example, Church volunteers have been deploying food packages to the hungry in five days or less. Aside from the obvious benefits of such a program, the Church has been able to bolster the country’s economy as well.
The doctrine of the Incarnation
Throughout history, the doctrine of the Incarnation has been a hot topic of debate among Christians. In the first four centuries of Christianity, there were several different schools of thought. In the fifth century, this debate developed and became even more heated.
The first school of thought, known as the Alexandrian school, believed that Jesus was a fully divine and fully human being. The incarnate Word became flesh in order to restore communion between God and creation. The incarnate Word also served as the ultimate Prophet.
The second school of thought, known as the Geissen school, believed that Jesus had a real self, but that he emptied himself and abandoned his divine powers. These debates laid the groundwork for later discussions about the historical and psychological plausibility of the Incarnation.
The third school of thought, known as the Antiochian school, argued that the incarnate Christ had human characteristics. The fourth gospel contains passages that support the doctrine of the Incarnation.