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Japan: Cathedral destroyed twice by bombs and earthquake is reborn

Posted on: March 7, 2014 5:22 PM
Photo Credit: NSKK
Related Categories: Japan, Tohoku

By ACNS staff with material from the Diocese of Tohoku, NSKK

Anglicans in Japan’s Tohoku Diocese this week celebrated the consecration and dedication of its new cathedral.

Tohoku Diocese’s Cathedral Church of Christ, in Sendai City, was destroyed twice – first in 1945 in during an air raid and, after being rebuilt, was damaged beyond repair in the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fallout disaster.

On March 1, however, 300 people travelled from across Japan to attend a special Service of Consecration and Dedication for the new cathedral that has been built to replace its predecessor.

Attendees of what was described as a joy-filled event included people who had lost their homes and family members in the triple disaster that befell Japan.

“It’s been three years since the Tohoku disaster and the new church has been completed,” said Tohoku’s Bishop John Hiromichi Kato. “It was made possible not only by the donations and huge efforts of the laity of the church but also the prayers and support of the whole of the Anglican Church in Japan.

“The church is located right in the middle of the Tohoku disaster area, and it serves as a Cathedral Church and a parish church, as well as place of healing, encouragement and hope and prayers for the many, many people who still are living with huge difficulties today.”

The Anglican Church in Japan (Nippon Sei Ko Kai) has been responding to the needs of those affected physically, spiritually, economically and mentally by the disaster in 2011.

Nippon Sei Ko Kai are holding memorial services at on March 11 three locations across the Diocese of Tohoku to commemorate all those who lost their lives, to pray for all those who were affected, and to pray that people can return to a normal life.

The services will be held at St. Stephen’s Church in Fukushima-shi - This location was affected by the nuclear plant malfunction. Christ Church in Sendai (The Cathedral of Tohoku Diocese)
Morioka Sei Ko Kai in Morioka-shi - This location was affected by earthquake

These three locations have been chosen because they are symbolic of the three most affected prefectures, namely Miyagi, Fuklushima and Iwate. The services will be held at 1 pm, with a moment of silence at 2:46pm for people to remember the disasters and their impact.

Each church within NSKK has been asked to have similar service.