Japanese Christians in Nagasaki tearful, excited to hear Pope speak

Japanese Christians in Nagasaki tearful, excited to hear Pope speak

NAGASAKI, Japan (Reuters) – Japanese Christians lined up prior to dawn on Sunday to get seats at a Mass being said by Pope Francis in Nagasaki, where 27,000 people were eliminated quickly when the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan, efficiently ending World War 2.

Pope Francis greets wellwishers in the rain at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park in Nagasaki, Japan, November 24,2019 REUTERS/Issei Kato

Nagasaki is likewise understood for its “Hidden Christians”, individuals who went underground to mix their religious beliefs with aspects of Buddhism and Japan’s native Shinto rather than provide up their faith or be martyred for their faith throughout the 250 years when Christianity was banned in Japan.

Pope John Paul II also went to Nagasaki throughout his journey to Japan 38 years earlier.

AKEMI YAMANO, 59, INSTRUCTOR

” It resembles a dream, I’m so ecstatic. When I saw TELEVISION last night, with hymns playing and Nagasaki scenes shown, I was practically in tears.

” I was here when the last Pope came as well. I believe it boggles the mind that I have actually been able to see 2 Popes in my life time. It resembles a miracle.”

CHIZUKO HISAMATSU, 66, HOMEMAKER

” This is the second time I have actually been able to see a Pope here in Japan, my heart is beating really quickly.

” We can’t have anymore atomic battles. It ‘d be excellent if that message would make clear to the world. I ‘d like it if nuclear weapons were eliminated and there wasn’t anymore war. I believe I might weep.”

SHINGO FUKAURA, 31, ARTISANAL SOAP MAKER

” I came yesterday at noon to examine things out and see when I might begin lining up, I came here by 6: 00 a.m. I belong to a group of Hidden Christians and 38 years ago our representative came to see John Paul II. I’m the seventh generation. He received a rosary. Now we were invited again. Francis has mentioned us a number of times and seems to acknowledge us. So we’re all really excited by this.

” This is a camellia sapling. If I can see him, I want to have him bless this. Camellias have been an important symbol to us from a very long time ago. If he does bless it, I ‘d like to take it back to my house in the Goto islands and utilize it as a symbol of peace.

” I’m extremely happy with his message. My grandpa and granny were in Nagasaki, working in a factory, when the bomb fell. That makes me a third-generation survivor.”

YASUKO TABANA, 82

” This is my last chance to hear the voice of a living Pope and pray with them in the very same location.

” This is the best feeling. I was baptized at 20 however I ‘d been intrigued in Catholicism considering that I was in high school. I had lots of thoughts the method you do when you’re young, however one of them was that atomic weapons aren’t something that are proof of guy’s innovation but will result in guy’s termination. I have actually felt a long period of time that atomic technology is not something humans should continue with so I actually agree with the Pope.”

Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Jane Wardell

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