Japanese churches discuss minority issues

Some 200 people from more than 20 Japanese churches and minority right networks — as well as 20 overseas partner churches and organizations — gathered for a third international conference on minority issues and mission held 18-21 November at the Korean YMCA in Tokyo, Japan.

Dec 03, 2015

TOKYO: Some 200 people from more than 20 Japanese churches and minority right networks — as well as 20 overseas partner churches and organizations — gathered for a third international conference on minority issues and mission held 18-21 November at the Korean YMCA in Tokyo, Japan.

The conference, titled, "Let Us Overcome Hate Speech and Spread the Tent of Inclusivity," was hosted by the Korean Christian Church in Japan(KCCJ). Participants dialogued around the theme of "Together Toward a Just and Inclusive Society in Japan -– Justice and Inclusivity in Japan, in Partnership with all of Japan and the World."

KCCJ organized the conference because of the alarming rise of hate speech against the Korean ethnic community in Japan. At the same time, discriminatory hate crimes against ethnic and racial minorities are on the rise in different parts of the world and racism has once again found a prominent place in many of our societies.

Speaking of the significance of the conference in the life and witness of the KCCJ, the Rev. Kim Byungho, general secretary, said, “We hope this conference will provide an opportunity for the churches in Japan and the world to share our common concerns and build bridges of solidarity so that minority communities in Japan can fully realize and enjoy the fullness of life as citizens with equal rights, and it is the desire of the KCCJ to contribute to this ultimate goal."

The main conference was preceded by a two-day youth programme in which 24 youth from 14 churches and organizations in Japan and from overseas partner churches learned about the challenges faced by minority communities in Japan.

Conference participants talked about ways to engage the world church on this issue and also considered the possibility of creating an international network on the issues of racism and hate crimes.

Participants issued a statement at the conclusion of the conference in which they "confirmed that the Christian church must seek the path of peace that clearly opposes the path toward armament and war, and the path toward construction of an inclusive society in which peace and welfare are shared with all people, and that for this we must hear the call of Jesus Christ in the cries of minorities."--Standard Newswire

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