|Catholics visit a secret room in Houonji Buddhist monastery, said to have sheltered persecuted Christians|
Japanese Buddhist monks hid persecuted Christians in a secret room in their monastery. They then chanted sutras outside to drown out any incriminating noise, Catholics learnt during a Church program.
Sixty people, led by Father Makoto Onchi of Hagi Catholic Church in Yamaguchi Prefecture, visited the Houonji Buddhist monastery on July 4. The program was part of the church’s annual visit to sites associated with Christian persecution which occurred at various times from the early 1600s.
The monastery had discovered a secret room attached to its main hall, with a tunnel leading out to the fields behind the temple, chief Buddhist monk Venerable Toshiaki Namba told Father Onchi during an interreligious gathering.
The room is believed to have sheltered Christians hiding from religious persecution.