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The Fake Christian Priests in Japan

It turns out that Japanese people like Christian weddings but not all that Christianity. So what needs to be done? Fake priests. I guess they're kinda' like Unitarians but without being so serious.

News reports show:

Christians make up only 1.4% of Japan’s 127 million population, but Western “white weddings” now account for around three quarters of all bridal ceremonies, which means Christian priests are in high demand. To meet their clients’ expectations bridal companies have given up on trying to find ordained ministers and have kept requirements to a minimal – men looking foreign-enough to pass as Christians who can speak a little Japanese and perform the ceremony in 20 minutes.Japan’s love affair with Christian wedding is believed to have started in the 1980s with the televised weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and was fueled by the nuptials of Japanese pop star Momoe Yamaguchi. People, women especially, were attracted by the idea of celebrating their marriage through a ritual that revolved around love and that elevates the bride to the status of princess even for a short while. Traditional Shinto weddings, on the other hand, encase women in a wig and kimono, and are focused more on the merger of two families. The Japanese simply fell in love with the sharp dress code, the kiss and the overall image of Western weddings over their centuries-old traditions. But in order to have a genuine-looking ceremony, they wanted Christian priests, which were pretty hard to find. That started the now famous “foreign fake pastors” trend that saw companies and hotels hiring average foreign gentlemen with minimal knowledge of the Japanese language to perform Christian weddings.

One doesn’t even need to be Christian in order to carry out the task. In fact, the less religious the pastor, the better. The words spoken during a Western-style wedding are important, but companies are just looking for nonreligious guys who can stick to a script, because they realize for the average Japanese this kind of ceremony is more about the image rather than the essence...
So they want the image of Christianity but none of the rules. Dude, that's not Japanese, that's American.


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John B said...

Love the picture of "Father" Sarducci ;)

disgruntled anonymous said...

In Belgium if you want a wedding in a Catholic church but can't meet the church's requirements, you can have a "non-nuptial blessing" service. It looks exactly like a Catholic wedding, but the priest is careful to explain in advance that the blessing he gives is not the nuptial blessing. Right.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

The spirit of Vatican II.

Proteios1 said...

It's like reading the NYT or any other liberal cafeteria Catholic. Gimme what I want for me and none of what expresses devoting to God almighty. After all, it's really justo another political entity that we lobby for change and not an eternal unchanging truth...right?

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Japan since 1997 and once made the mistake of going to one of these "weddings", complete with fake cchurch interior and hungover caucasian "priest" who had a guilty look in his eyes when he saw me there.I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Afterwards I felt I'd been a party to something extremely sad. I will never go to one again, believe me.

Chidimma Agunwamba said...

for more updates on this article send kindly send it to http://www.unn.edu.ng

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