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Japan: Covid stops outreach plans, but not prayer, at the Tokyo Olympics

September 2021 | by Evangelical Times

Olympic rings at Tokyo, Japan. CREDIT: Alex Smith.
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Plans for gospel outreach events at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were scuppered by the Covid pandemic, but organisers took the opportunity to focus on prayer.

Called ‘Japan1Million’, the international prayer movement is seeking a million hours of prayer for the nation.

It has been led by the Japanese International Sports Partnership (JiSP) and the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA).

JiSP had been preparing for a variety of outreach events linked to the Olympics and Paralympics, but due to Covid-19, doors were shut to this – all except one: prayer.

JiSP Olympic/Paralympic Director Keishi Ikeda of the Japan Evangelical Church Association said, ‘There is one door left that shall never be shut. And that is prayer. It is as though God is guiding us to focus on this door of prayer for God to move in Japan.’

The JiSP wants to see the church in Japan grow to 10 million Christians by 2024. Currently less than 1 per cent of Japan’s 126 million people attend church.

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