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Japanese bishop: ‘We must take courage’

Catholic World News - March 14, 2011

“The Church in Japan will respond to the tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan with prayer and solidarity,” said Bishop Marcellinus Daiji Tani of Saitama, responding the March 11 disaster that has claimed over 10,000 victims. “We must take courage, with the help of the Holy Spirit.”

“This sad event reminds us that life is in the hands of God and that life is a gift from God,” he added. “It will be a challenge for all of us to practice and witness to the commandment of love and brotherly love, in this time of Lent.”

Caritas Japan has launched a fundraising campaign to assist earthquake survivors.

“I believe in Japan currently, marked by the economic crisis, struck by the social phenomenon of depression and suicide, this painful event may be an opportunity to spread the values of the Gospel, that is, the fraternity of all men and women, the building of common good, the recognition that every person has the dignity of a child of God and is important in the eyes of God,” said Father Daisuke Narui, Caritas Japan’s executive director. “If, with our work and our witness, we can communicate that, then from this evil will come good.”

0.4% of the nation’s 127.7 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. 84% are Shinto and Buddhist.

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