Naha

Okinawa Grav

Okinawa Tomb

Naha City (Na-ha) 那覇市  is the capital city for Okinawa Prefecture on the southern part of Okinawa Island.  The city has a population of approximately 320,000 Japanese.  Okinawa Prefecture consists of hundreds of islands stretching over 600 miles, and it is the most southern prefecture in Japan.  The prefecture’s culture and people are unique among Japan’s historical heritage.  From the design of graves, to the tropical atmosphere, to the large presence of US military bases, Okinawa provides a setting for Naha City that sets it apart from any other place in Japan.

 

Naha Shopping District

Naha Shopping District

The evidence of non-Japanese influence by China and the US are evident in the architecture, customs, and lifestyle of Naha City.  US military bases cover approximately 25% of Okinawa’s main island. Many “mainland” Japanese, along with other Asian tourists, travel to Okinawa for the sun, surf, and cuisine.

 

Christians are active in the city.  After World War II a number of Christian US servicemen stationed on the island began helping Okinawans.  As a result, a number of churches were started and continue to exist today.  Those Japanese believers have expanded evangelistic activities to influence even remote parts of Okinawa Island and the rest of the prefecture.

 

Even though there is a lot of tension between the US military and Japanese on Okinawa, international churches made up primarily of US servicemen and women on the island continue to have an active ministry to Japanese in Naha City and adjacent areas.  Even though many of the outlying islands have very little or no Christians or Christian witness, the percentage of Christians in Naha is above the national average of less than 1%.

 

Prayer starters

 

•   While giving thanks to God for Christian servicemen from the US who have shared the Good News with Japanese in Naha City, pray that believers in Naha City will continue to witness to the majority of residents that do not yet believe.

 

•   Pray that the churches and individual believers of Naha will have a vision for reaching Japanese in many of the remote places of Okinawa Prefecture.  Pray that churches can be started on islands that currently have no believers.

 

•   Pray that Japanese churches and international churches in the area will be able to continue to show God’s love to the city and nation as they demonstrate a spirit of unity as shared in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

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