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Each December, thousands of people perform Bach's sacred music, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, and Beethoven's Choral Symphony. Many of their youth look for places where they can learn gospel music. T-shirts emblazoned with "I am a Christian!" and "I Love Jesus!" rank third in T-shirt sales. Books by Christian authors are widely read, and Bibles are sold in large quantities. Major cities have Christian business fellowships, called "International VIP Clubs," devoted to spreading the gospel where they work. Some mafia members are experiencing such radical conversions to Christianity that their stories are featured in the media. In 2001, some of their stories were even made into a movie entitled, Jesus Is My Boss. Many who wonder what Christian nation this can be are surprised to learn that these things are happening in Japan, a country whose population is less than one percent Christian.
Christian missionary work in Japan always has been and continues to be very difficult. Minor degrees of persecution remain a reality. However, since the middle of the 1990s, something different is happening. It is as if the spiritual light shining on the hearts of Japan's people comes not from candles, but from a lighthouse reflecting the hope and mercy of Jesus Christ.
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