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Roman Catholicism in Japan


Roman Catholicism in Japan

Japanese mosaic of Madonna and Child, in the Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth (a gift from Japanese Catholics to the church).

The Roman Catholic Church in Japan is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are approximately 509,000 Catholics in Japan—just under 0.5% of the total population.[1] There are 16 dioceses, including three archdioceses[2] with 1589 priests and 848 parishes in the country.[1] The bishops of the dioceses form the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, the episcopal conference of the nation.

The current Apostolic Nuncio to Japan is Italian Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello. Archbishop Bottari de Castello is the Holy See's ambassador to Japan as well as its delegate to the local church.

Catholicism, as well as Christianity in general, was introduced to Japan by Portuguese explorers and missionaries, particularly by the Jesuits, such as St. Francis Xavier (who was, however, a Spaniard). Portuguese Catholics also founded the city of Nagasaki, considered at its founding to be the most important Christian center in the Far East, though this distinction is now obsolete. In addition, a large number of Japanese Catholics are ethnic Japanese from Brazil.


  • History 1
  • Roman Catholic Dioceses in Japan 2
    • Province of Nagasaki 2.1
    • Province of Osaka 2.2
    • Province of Tokyo 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Roman Catholic Dioceses in Japan

Province of Nagasaki

The gravestone (second from the left), in Melaka's St Paul's Church, of someone identified as Peter (?), the "second bishop of Japan", who had died in February 1598

Province of Osaka

Province of Tokyo

See also


  1. ^ a b Catholic Hierarchy Directory
  2. ^ on the Catholic Church in Japan

External links

  • on the Catholic Church in Japan
  • Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan
  • The Holy See — The Vatican's Official Website
  • Roman Catholic churches in Japan
  • Catholic Diocese in Japan geographically
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