Japanese Pastor Calls for Prayers for Earthquake

The earthquake destroyed houses, livelihood and infrastructure
The earthquake destroyed houses, livelihood and infrastructure (photo: Amity Foundation)
By Kristina RanJanuary 5th, 2024

A Japanese pastor serving overseas urged Christians to pray for the affected during the recent earthquake which struck the Noto Peninsula, asking God to prepare the manpower and resources. 

A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck the Noto Peninsula in central-western Japan on January 1, 2024.

According to Japan's TBS News Dig, the earthquake in the Noto region of Japan has resulted in 91 deaths in Ishikawa Prefecture, with a total of 179 people unaccounted for, said CCTV News on Januray 5.

Yoko Maruyama, a Japanese pastor serving overseas, mentioned in a media interview that, as the pastors she could contact were on their way to seek refuge and faced congested roads, it was difficult to assess the actual situation. She had previously worked in remote areas of Japan, and the Noto Peninsula, where this earthquake occurred, is renowned for its tourist attractions but is also a remote area with strong traditional beliefs, resulting in challenges for evangelism.

She urged Christians to pray for the affected people, asking God to protect them and prepare the manpower and resources needed for those affected. She also hoped for prayers for the spiritual well-being of the local churches and individuals and God's blessing to pastors in difficult-to-reach areas for the gospel. She wished they could continue spreading the gospel and illuminate this land despite the adversity.

According to reports, several counties surrounding the peninsula experienced seismic shocks ranging from magnitude 5 to 7. Among them, Ishikawa Prefecture was hit the hardest with a magnitude of 7, which caused power outages in nearly 33,000 households, and the northern parts of the peninsula were facing a water shortage crisis. The earthquake led to building collapses and fires and prompted neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and Russia to issue tsunami warnings.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated on the day of the earthquake that it was a "race against time" and pledged full efforts to rescue those trapped. However, heavy rain, landslides, potential aftershocks in the coming days, and the current cold weather pose challenges to rescue operations.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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