Church in Japan Notes Falling Numbers

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TOKYO, Japan, JUNE 24, 2010 ( The Japanese bishops’ conference is noting that the number of registered Catholics in the country has fallen to under 450,000.

This number shows a decrease of 0.5% over the past year, UCANews reported Wednesday.

The statistics collected by the bishops’ conference show that 60% of these Catholics are women.

Regarding the clergy, 24 bishops, including both active and retired, were counted. 

The priests working in the country numbered 1,481, with 887 of them originating from Japan. The seminaries counted 91 young men studying for the priesthood, with another 38 in the minor seminary.

All but three of the 35 deacons serving in the country are Japanese.

The great majority of female religious, totaling 5,678, are Japanese (5,419). For the male religious, 150 of the 201 in total are natives.

Over the past year, 6,914 people were baptized, with 3,594 of them being age 8 and older.

The 798 parishes in Japan counted 111,647 Sunday Mass goers, a number that has dropped 8% compared to 2004.

Around 197,517 faithful were counted at Easter Mass, while 254,298 were at Christmas Mass.

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