Displaying items by tag: Japan
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into waters off its eastern coast on 15 September. South Korea and US intelligence are analysing details about the launches. The missiles landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, in the waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula. Prime minister Yoshihide Suga called the firings absolutely outrageous, threatening the peace and safety of Japan and the region. He said, ‘Our government is determined to step up our vigilance and surveillance to be prepared for any contingencies.’ The firings came just two days after North Korea tested a newly developed missile capable of hitting targets 930 miles away. North Korea has ignored Washington’s offers to resume negotiations to abandon its nuclear programme.
There are many smart, educated women who could drive Japan out of its economic slump to a stunning economic recovery, but the rigid hiring system and male-dominated leadership block women from the best-paid jobs. Japan risks becoming a nation of bored housewives with university degrees. Parliament declared it would significantly increase the number of women in leadership by 2020, but the deadline quietly came and went without getting close to its target. Critics believe the aim had little to do with women thriving at work and more to do with an acute need for workers. The working-age population has been rapidly shrinking since the 1990s. Many women are stuck in part-time or dead-end roles which pay 40% lower than men. Companies are reluctant to have more women in their workforces, but the drive for change could come from international companies hiring graduates with gender equality.
For Christians there were many precious moments at the Olympics that were little reported by mainstream media. Olympians from across the nations were committed Christians and quick to publicly give glory to the King of Kings. When the Fiji rugby team won a gold medal, they formed a circle in the centre of the field and burst forth in a rendition of a gospel hymn; ‘We have overcome by the blood of the lamb in the Word of the Lord, we have overcome’. Also, British swimmer Daniel Jervis, who came fifth in the men’s 1500m freestyle, was quick to praise God: ‘The thing I’m most proud of in my life is that I’m a Christian, and obviously God was with me tonight, and I’m just really grateful to be representing Him’.
The Paralympic Games open in Tokyo on 24 August, with over 4,000 disabled athletes from around the world. Ahead of the event, the International Paralympic Committee is launching a campaign called 'Wethe15'. Wethe15 is sport’s biggest ever human rights movement to end discrimination. It aims to transform the lives of 1.2 billion persons with disabilities, representing 15% of the global population. Figures show that many disabled people live in poverty, struggling to access education and employment. Wethe15 plans to initiate change by bringing together the biggest ever coalition of international organisations from sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment. It will build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face daily at all levels of society. By doing so it wants to break down these barriers so that all persons with disabilities can fulfil their potential and be active and visible members of an inclusive society.
When a country holds the Olympic Games, there is often a redevelopment of parts of the host city. Hundreds of homeless people in Tokyo were given eviction notices even though they have nowhere to go. Metropolitan officials cleared the area of homeless people before the Olympics, and are still doing it during the games. A 62-year-old homeless man said an official approached him on 8 July to tell him, ‘Remove your belongings by 21 July; they are creating obstacles for the Olympics’. According to a Tokyo-based support group, authorities have taken tougher approaches against homeless people since Tokyo was named the host city of 2020 Olympics. Parks are now locked and lit up at night to discourage the homeless from sleeping there. There were 1,126 homeless living in parks in Tokyo in January 2019, but only 862 in 2020. The whereabouts of the 264 is unknown. Tokyo's homeless are experiencing extreme pressure to hide.
The director of the Olympics opening ceremony was dismissed for making jokes in the 1990s about the Holocaust. Earlier this week, a composer quit the ceremony team after it emerged he had bullied classmates with disabilities at school. In March the Olympics' creative chief quit after suggesting that plus-size comedian Naomi Watanabe could appear as an ‘Olympig’. In February the head of the organising committee had to step down after he made inappropriate remarks about women. The scandals have increased massive unease about the Games. A recent poll found 55% of Japanese were opposed to holding the Games, fearing it could become a coronavirus super-spreader event. Already, organisers are dealing with rising Covid cases. Dozens involved in the Games, including officials and athletes, have tested positive. An increase in cases among Japan's population - only a third of whom have been vaccinated - has led to a state of emergency being declared for the duration of the Games.
As all eyes turn to Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics, Japanese Christians are inviting the global Church to unite for one million hours of prayer for the spiritual transformation of their nation. An international prayer movement (Japan1Million) is led by the Japan international Sports Partnership and the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. Their partnership is driven by a vision to see the Church in Japan grow to ten million people by 2024. Working towards that vision, they had hoped to reach a million Japanese people during their Olympic outreach year. Covid closed those doors, but one door remained open; the door to prayer. With less than 1% of its population of 126 million attending church, the Japanese are the world’s second largest unreached people group. Most people in Japan have not been to church, read the Bible or encountered any Christians. Committed prayer is needed for a significant spiritual breakthrough.
We are pleased to bring you this July 2021 edition of IPC Connections.
Our Editorial article this month is an astounding report from the Passover to Pentecost Group! These partnered events, missions and media projects have collectively seen 20 million new Jesus followers added to the Church since last year. This 2021 Review details massive numbers coming to faith in Jesus Christ, Gospel movements emerging in the nations, and disciple-making churches being planted in unreached areas. Let’s be in prayer for these huge numbers of people of all ages coming to faith, that they will grow into spiritual fullness in Christ. (Col 2:6-7)
Read about the 1 Million Hours of Prayer for Japan and the Olympic Games initiative that we are jointly launching with JiSP (Japan International Sports Partnership), in our second editorial article. Sign up for the Prayer Guide.
We would welcome you to join us for the launch of the 1st FRIDAY GO PRAY online prayer event on Friday 6th August at 6AM Pacific time during which we will be Praying for the continued spiritual harvest AND for Japan and the missional opportunities that the Olympic Games present.
We are not spotlighting a team member this month to make space for the Editorial article. We would however covet your prayers for the whole team right now. The IPC Leadership Team and Board’s representation spans the continents. They are each involved in a local church as well as ministering nationally and internationally. Please pray for strength, good health, equipping and protection for them and their loved ones, as they continue to serve, often at personal cost, during these challenging times.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in mobilising and informing united prayer across nations, denominations, movements, and generations for the fulfilment of the Great Commission.
May we express grateful thanks to Andy Page and the IPC Editorial Team who put this email together each month.
Jason Hubbard - Director
International Prayer Connect
Please use this link if you would like to sow into IPC’s ministry with a donation
Disclaimer… The views and opinions expressed in IPC Connections and the articles on our website are those of individuals and our partner organisations. They do not necessarily represent the policies or views of IPC or its individual leaders.
We aim to respect the diversity within the prayer movement and yet embrace our unified calling to mobilise prayer for the nations. (2 Chron 7:14) If you wish to discuss the appropriateness of any articles, please contact us.
Christians in Japan are asking the world for one million hours of prayer for their nation throughout the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. International Prayer Connect are partnering with them to get this message out and are inviting you to please pray about how you might be able to take part – by pledging at least one hour.
The Japan international Sports Partnership (JiSP) is calling on churches, individuals and families across the world to unite in prayer for Japan as their country takes centre stage from Friday 23rd of July.
Pastor Keishi Ikeda who leads JiSP in this movement is driven by a vision to see the Japanese Church grow to 10 million people by 2024. “Imagine ten million Christians in Japan...This would change Japan. And not just Japan, we could send teams from Japan into other countries that many can’t get into as our passport is powerful. This is a wave; we need to ride it,” said Ikeda.
The current reality is that the Japanese people are the world’s second largest un-reached people group. Church attendance hovers around 4 in 1000 - with only one being male. Nothing short of a miracle will awaken Japan. We serve the God who has promised miracles. We believe an awakening is coming.
Edwin Orr the great scholar on revivals said, “Whenever there is an awakening there is evidence of three things. People coming together “in one accord,” people hearing the Good News in their own “heart language” and a deep, ongoing passion and commitment to prayer.
As Japan steps into the spotlight these Olympic Games, Christians in Japan are calling on their global brothers and sisters to sign up for at least one hour of prayer.
The Olympics and Paralympics will run for 30 days. If 3,000 Churches globally committed 10 people from their church to pray one hour over these 30 days, we would achieve 900,000 hours – very close to our goal!
Japanese Christians like Pastor Keishi are willing to do anything to see their land coming alive spiritually with 10 million believers by 2024. It is not just about hosting an Olympic Games.
Pastor Keishi said, “We had hoped to reach a million people during our Olympic outreach. With Covid that has not been possible. Can we turn that dream into a million hours of prayers from both the Japanese Church and from across the world? What a gift to Japan from the global Church - a million hours of prayer for God’s Glory to fall upon our land..”
More info and Sign Up to pray on the website at: https://www.japan1million.com/
Each of the 30 days of the Games you will receive email prayer points focusing on Japan, the Olympics and Paralympics.
‘UNITED, SIMPLE, POWERFUL’
You are invited to unite in a simple but powerful prayer time on the first Friday of every month.
We want to pray in unity with many believers, prayer networks and church denominations worldwide, for revival and for the harvest according to Luke 10:2-3.
Each month, we will invite people with insight on the topics we are praying for - to brief us.
The format will be informal. We will meet with simplicity and humbleness of heart as we wait on the Lord and pray in unity.
JOIN US: FRIDAY AUGUST 6th at 6AM PACIFIC TIME (FIND MY TIME)
JOIN THE MEETING (PASSCODE 1221)
#1 PRAYER FOR THE HARVEST
Pray like Jesus said in Luke 10:2-3: "Lord of the harvest, send workers into the harvest field. Lord use me according to Your Word. I will make myself available and share my faith with one person in the next week."
#2 JAPAN AND THE OLYMPICS
Little of Japan's population knows Jesus. (0.3%) Let's pray for the harvest during and after the Olympic Games. Let's also pray for the Government, the people and the Church in Japan.
>> Further meetings are being held on Sept 3rd, Oct 1st, Nov 5th and Dec 3rd 2021 <<
1st FRIDAY GO PRAY is convened by Global Outreach (GO) Movement, International Prayer Connect and many worldwide partners.
More info and meeting link at www.gopray.world