Payday loansPayday Loans

Recent News

  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

  • Donate by Paypal or Credit Card

    Solution Graphics

    Click Amazon to Help ICRF

    amzn-ba100x70.gif (2357 bytes)

    Help ICRF with your donation

    Follow ICRF on Twitter

    Twitter Image

    Like Us on Facebook

    Facebook Image
    Thursday, 01 September 2011 00:00
    Religious Freedom Ranking:
    3 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement


    The Japanese Constitution provides for religious freedom. Religious groups are generally free to worship and spread their beliefs without interference. However, there have been reports of societal abuse or discrimination based on religious affiliation. There have also been complaints that the government fails to enforce laws designed to protect religious minorities and fails to investigate missing persons reports related to forced conversion attempts.

    The country has a population of 127.5 million. Interestingly, the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2007 estimated that religious groups claimed a total 206 million people as members, indicating either a large number of residents who were affiliated with more than one religion and/or a good deal of exaggeration by religious groups. According to the agency’s 2009 annual yearbook, 105 million identified themselves as Shinto, 89 million as Buddhist, two million as Christian and nine million follow “other” religions.  The Islamic Center estimated that there are 100,000 to 110,000 Muslims.  The Unification Church estimates it has as many as 500,000 believers, although many of them also adhere to Shintoism or Buddhism.

    There have been no reports of religious detainees held by the government. However, forced conversions have been widely reported, usually involving members of the Unification Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of smaller sects.

    The Unification Church reported that thousands of its followers were kidnapped, held against their will and pressured by family members and “deprogrammers” to abandon the church over the last four decades. The Jehovah’s Witnesses reported more than a hundred such cases, mostly in the 1990s. Police often turn a blind eye to missing persons reports, taking the position that they should not involve themselves in “family matters,” even when the victim is an adult. Human rights activists point out that such an attitude by the government makes a mockery of the Japanese Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom and the universally-recognized right to choose one’s own religion or belief. Currently approximately 10 UC members per year are reported missing. About half return to the church after either being released or making good their escape. No criminal prosecutions have resulted.

    According to sworn testimony, including the statements of ex-UC members who sued the church after being successfully de-converted, Christian ministers are usually involved in the faith-breaking process. Detainees report being required to attend “rehabilitation” in Christian education centers, or else remain confined indefinitely. These facts have led to the charge of “forced conversion” to traditional Protestantism.

    In 2008 a member of the Unification Church, Toru Goto, was released in a state of severe malnutrition after 12 years of confinement by family members in consultation with a Christian minister and a professional deprogrammer. Prosecutors dismissed the case, citing inadequate evidence. Mr. Goto is now pursuing the matter in the civil courts.

    The Japanese Association of Religious Organizations, an interfaith NGO, continues to encourage religious culture and peace. Members of the Islamic Center Japan have attended interfaith peace prayers with Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist groups.  In November 2009 the World Conference on Religions for Peace Japanese Committee co-hosted a meeting to discuss how to promote peace in Afghanistan with diet members and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This meeting was held with diplomats from 18 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.


    2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on Japan

    Last Updated on Thursday, 20 October 2011 14:07