Coptic Orthodox Church in Japan
Father Thomas Kanazaki (Japanese born Coptic priest) has been appointed to be the first serving Coptic priest in Japan, serving St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Japan, the first altar for the Coptic Orthodox Church in this country.
What is Orthodox?
Orthodox is a church established by the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the first century. The Orthodox Church has never changed their teachings, the traditions and prayers which was directly taught from the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have kept their traditions till this present day. The holy liturgy is centered on prayers and praises to the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is filled with holiness of the Holy Body and Blood of the crucified Jesus Christ, “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
What is Coptic Orthodox church?
The Coptic Orthodox church is a church from the first century founded in Egypt from the Apostle, St. Mark (the writer of the Gospel of Mark). St. Mark witnessed and experienced the Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and accession. He then later traveled to Egypt as part of his mission to testify the Truth. The Saint preached the truth of the One and only God and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many Egyptians in those days, did not know about the true God, they worshipped idols and many lifeless gods. Many miracles were performed through St. Mark which had proved to the Egyptians that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Saviour and the true God. Many Egyptians became Christians and are known as Copts till this present day. St. Mark was martyred by the Roman Emperor in AD68. . However, that was not the end of the Coptic Orthodox church it was just the beginning of a strong faith that God has been continuing for 21 centuries.
What is Coptic?
Coptic is an old Egyptian language spoken before Arabic was enforced in Egypt . The Coptic Orthodox Church maintained the Coptic language through its hymns and liturgy.
Why in Japan?
There are Coptic Orthodox Christians throughout Japan. There are Coptic Egyptians, Sudanese and Ethiopians who come to Japan as students for short-term periods to study. Furthermore, some people come to work and stay for long-term. Others have Japanese spouse and families and are permanent residents in Japan. There were some Japanese who have come to know about the Coptic Orthodox Church and were baptised in Japan.
The Coptic Orthodox church was first established in Kobe City, Japan. Later moved to Kagoshima (south of Japan) and then Tokyo (captial city of Japan). Presently, the church is established in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture western part of Japan. Reverand Father Thomas Kanazaki visits Tokyo and Osaka regions in Japan to conduct holy liturgies upon request. There is a Coptic Orthodox Japan Network set up since October 2011, connecting Coptic people and non-Coptics in Japan.