JAPAN TRAVEL: Oe Church, the Oldest Catholic Church in Amakusa
The Amakusa region in Kumamoto Prefecture is a historic Christian site in Japan.
Oe Church in Amakusa
Christianity was introduced to the country in 1542, 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.
Address: 1782 Oe, Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture
Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed on Mondays
This first appeared on Philippine Primer magazine’s February 2019 issue.