Procyon asked in another thread, "Why is Japan so Gospel-resistant?" Yes, Japan is Gospel-resistant. After 140 years of Protestant missions, only 1% claim to be Christian, and that includes fundamentalists, evangelicals, liberals, Catholics, Charismatics, the cults (JW, Mormon, etc.) and everybody else! Oftener than not, I have gotten out 10,000 tracts with no response--none. When I came over to Japan in 1981, it was said that the average church membership was 21. (It must be less nowadays!) Some of the best missionaries I know have only planted one church in a career spanning decades. Some blame Japan's hardness on Buddhism, others on Shinto, Confucianism, humanism, evolution, materialism, too much prosperity, what have you. All of these things are factors, but I believe there is one underlying theme which is present in every "Gospel-resistant" culture, including Japan, the Middle Eastern Muslim countries, etc. Here is what almost all, if not all, Gospel-resistant countries have in common: at some time in their history, they rejected Christianity as a nation and a people. It may be that they invaded a country and killed the Christians, as the Muslims did in the Middle East. Or, it may be that they simply got tired of the truth and turned to broken cisterns, as in many European countries. In the case of Japan, Francis Xavier and his Catholic missionaries came here in the 16th century and made great strides. They blundered of course with their mariolatry, their failure to translate the Bible, etc. But at one point 20% or more of Japan was Catholic. What happened then is very sad. The Shogun (ruler of Japan, with even more power than the emperor in those days) decided that Christianity was evil, and began persecuting it. By the time the persecution was over a couple of Shoguns later in the 17th century, many 10s of 1000s of Catholics had been martyred, Christianity had been outlawed for 250 years, and contact with foreigners outlawed, as well as all foreigners outlawed but the Dutch. And that, brothers and sisters, is why I believe Japan is Gospel-resistant. Why am I here? Before I began deputation, my grandfather (a well-known Baptist evangelist) asked me why I was going to Japan. He said, "Japan is hard. You can win more people to Christ in America!" I admired and loved him so much that I have no idea to this day what I answered. There is only one answer, though: God called me! And as my grandfather himself used to say, "You can't win everyone to Christ, but you can always win someone!"