Monday, July 22, 2013

Pray for Japan's Political Leadership

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept the polls in Japan earlier this week--meaning that they now have a solid majority in both the upper and lower houses of the National Diet. Abe's surge in popularity has been in part due to his drastic economic measures, meant to help Japan recover from decades of stagnation--however, a significant part of his support comes from those on the right side of the political spectrum who are hoping that Abe will make significant changes to Japan's post-war constitution.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
It is without any hesitation that I urge you to pray for Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the LDP. We are at a cross-roads for the future of East Asia, any changes to the current constitution would cause great friction with both of Japan's neighbors, Korea and China. Tension has been rising in East Asia over the past decade corresponding to China and South Korea's economic rise, and the destabilization of North Korea. Many in these countries have malignant feelings towards the Japanese for their wartime atrocities and failure to sufficiently apologize make acquitted reparations.

The Christian church has been growing in both China and South Korea--both of these countries have significant, but young Christian churches. Less than 1% of Japanese know Jesus as their Lord and savior. In order for the Japanese to be reached with the Gospel, it will take a alliance of Chinese, Korean and International Christians praying for and extending grace to the Japanese. However, with the political situation, many Chinese and Korean Christians treat Japanese as an unlovable enemy.

Jesus commanded his disciples to love their enemies, and those that persecute them. Please join me in praying for wisdom on behalf of the Japanese leaders, but also for a spirit of grace and mercy to extend from Chinese and Koreans Christians to the Japanese. Especially in this period of heightened tension, there is an opportunity for Christians in these nations to be a prophetic voice of brotherhood and peace, rather than continuing in silence while others rattle their sabers.

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