Today I read again the results of a calculation mistake. The Gallup Japanese religious survey taken in 2001 had some surprising and encouraging results. If you do an internet search you can still find some of the reports saying that 6% of Japanese claim to be Christian. This was an incorrect figure, and was later corrected to say 3.6% adults and 7% of Japanese teens claim Christianity as their religion.
Either way, it is encouraging to think that several % of Japanese feel that they are Christian, but have no connection with formal Christian life. An important task of those in Japan and those ministering to Japanese outside of Japan is to find these covert believers and help them to connect to families of faith.
Here is part of the report (If you would like the total two page report, let me know at <email@example.com>
“When asked “Do you have a religion?” 30% of adults and 205 of teens answered “Yes.” Among adults who answered yes, when allowed multiple choices, 74% said they were Buddhist, 19% Shinto, 12% Christian, 6% “New Religions@, and 7% another religion. This means that about 4% of Japanese adults claim to be Christian (3.6%)…
Among teens who answered yes, when allowed multiple choices, 60% said they were Buddhist, 35% Christian, 15% Shinto, 1% “New Religion, and 10% another religion. This means 7% of Japanese teens claim to be Christian, a vastly larger number than expected.