February 11, 2019

JAPAN TRAVEL: Oe Church, the Oldest Catholic Church in Amakusa

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  • JAPAN TRAVEL: Oe Church, the Oldest Catholic Church in Amakusa
  • The Amakusa region in Kumamoto Prefecture is a historic hidden Christian site in Japan.

    Oe Church in Amakusa

    It was in 1542 when Christianity was introduced to the country, however, it was met with rejection from Japanese feudal lord who eventually banned the said religion across Japan. Many of those Christians were persecuted, but there were some who found a safe place to practice their faith in secrecy. One of these places is Amakusa.

    Inside Oe Church

    One of the churches built after the Christianity ban has been lifted is Oe Church.

    The present structure of the church which features a Romanesque-style was built by Fr. Garnier, a French missionary and some local parishioners in 1933. It’s built on top of the hill which offers a stunning landscape view.

    The view from Oe Church

    This place of solemnity is a symbol of the Christian’s unwavering faith. Various statues surround the Oe Church such as the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and the grave of Fr. Garnier.

    The holy place holds mass every Sunday morning. Tourists may visit the church free of charge.

    General Information
    Address: 1782 Oe, Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture
    Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed on Mondays
    Admission: free


    This first appeared on Philippine Primer magazine’s February 2019 issue.

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