Our History

The history of our Church is the fruit of faith, tireless dedication, sincere service and determination of countless pioneers, who each, within the role they played and the mission they fulfilled, contributed in an inestimable way to the expanding the salvation of people through Johrei and the practice of the Teachings of Meishu-Sama. When we present a synthesis of our history, only a few names end up being mentioned, but that does not erase the merit or our eternal gratitude for all who were part of it and who endeavored to build it.

The World Messianic Church (IMM) was born in Japan on January 1, 1935, in the form of a religious association, which at the time was called the Kannon Association of Greater Japan (大 日本 観 音 会 – Dai Nippon Kannon Kai). Only in 1950 did it change its name to the World Messianic Church (世界 救世 教 – Sekai Kyusei Kyo). Regarding this change in the name of the Church, Meishu-Sama explained:

“As Kyusei kyo (救世 教) [5] is written with Chinese ideograms, it ends up being restricted to the East. However, as the objective is, in any case, to save all humanity, it is necessary to express the appropriate meaning. For this reason , I attributed the reading “Meshiya” (Messiah) to the Kyusei ideogram (救世) [6].

As this is the meaning, “Messiah” means only “Kyusei” (salvation of the world), an expression appropriate to the activities that will be developed from now on. I must say that there is no other meaning than this. Depending on the person, there may be those who think it was opportunism, because it is a name related to Christianity. But it’s not like that. “[7]

In Brazil, the dissemination activities of Johrei and the Teachings of Meishu-Sama date back to the 1950s, when the flow of Japanese immigration resumed after the end of World War II.

According to records, the first Messianic to set foot on Brazilian soil was federal deputy Kajyu Nakamura, who was part of the Japanese government commission sent to Brazil in 1951 to conclude the agreement that would restore the flow of emigration from Japan to our country.

On August 13, 1952, the newspaper Eiko (at the time, one of the main communication vehicles of the World Messianic Church in Japan) published an article in which it mentions the graces received by a lady who attended the Church in Japan and who had immigrated to Brazil. This lady, even though she was not a member of the Church, reported that she was receiving thanks and protection by reading the Meishu-Sama Teachings. Since changing the structure and name of the Church in 1950, Meishu-Sama has been preparing all the bases to begin the work of worldwide dissemination and, in 1953, sent the reverend Kiyoko Higuchi and Minister Haruhiko Ajiki to the United States (Hawaii) .

From then on, countless graces and miracles began to be reported to Meishu-Sama, who enthusiastically shared with his ministers and members his intention to send missionaries to other countries in the near future. Thus, the desire to participate directly in worldwide diffusion grew among his disciples.

It was imbued with this feeling that the young Teruko Sato, at the age of 18, made the decision to immigrate, alone, to Brazil to spread Johrei and the Messianic faith. In November 1954, the first image of the Divine Light and the photograph of Meishu-Sama for the altar arrived in Brazil, more precisely, in the state of Amazonas, delivered to her under the guidance of Meishu-Sama himself. She also brought ten Ohikari to be awarded to people who wanted to become Johrei’s ministers.

After Meishu-Sama’s ascension to the Divine World, Minister Nobuhiko Shoda (26) and young missionary Minoru Nakahashi (19) arrived in Brazil on August 9, 1955.

Thus, the dissemination activities effectively began and, in little more than a month, on September 15, the first Ohikari, in Brazilian lands, was granted to Mr. Otsuo Baba, in Belo Horizonte (MG) .

Due to language limitations, dissemination activities were concentrated in the states of São Paulo and Paraná, where there were many Japanese immigrants.

Later, with the expansion of the Divine Work, other young missionaries were sent to Brazil: Katsumi Morimoto (Kogure), in 1958; Kazuro Hosono (1959; at 23 years of age); Morihiro Hirata (1960; 28); Katsumi Yamamoto (1961; 28) and Kunji Okada (1962; 21).

Thanks to the wonderful and countless miracles of Johrei, quickly, the messianic faith started to win followers in our country and, in 1962, already counted 1,315 ministers of Johrei.

In this way, to support and implement the diffusion work, on July 10, 1962, the first group of young missionaries prepared and sent by the General Headquarters of the Church in Japan arrives in Brazil. They are: Noboru Kanbe (28); Masao Goto (23); Tetsuo Watanabe (22); Hitoshi Nishikawa (21); Mitsuhiro Omae (20); Hisao Yokoyama (20); Mitsuo Nakahashi (19) and Sayohiko Asami (18).

In April 1966, the General Headquarters sent the minister Sei’iti Nonoguti (27) and, on June 14, 1967, the second group of young missionaries sent by the General Headquarters arrived in Brazil. Its members were: Sadao Yamashita (24); Norio Shirasawa (24); Katsuyuki Moriyama (23); Hidenari Hayashi (22); Takeo Saito (21); Mikio Takase (21); Masahito Ono (21); Hajime Tanaka (20) and Yoshihei Yasue (20).

As the Divine Work expanded, we were given permission and the challenge to build our own headquarters from God and Meishu-Sama.

On June 23, 1963, the first proper headquarters of the World Messianic Church of Brazil was inaugurated in Londrina (PR).

In 1964, the registration as a legal entity of the World Messianic Church – Central Headquarters of Brazil takes effect. Until that moment, the diffusion was still concentrated in Paraná and São Paulo.

That same year, 1964, then Minister Tetsuo Watanabe, moved to the city of Rio de Janeiro, where he began his work of dissemination. After the formation of many members and missionaries, it opened new fronts for expanding the faith in different regions of the country. According to the words of Rev. Katsumi Yamamoto, this was a historic landmark that “changed the landscape of the spread of the Messianic Church in Brazil ”.

Gratitude to God and Meishu-Sama for the joy of having been saved and to see their lives transformed, made the Brazilian pioneer members to launch themselves body and soul into the practice and dissemination of the teachings of Meishu-Sama and Johrei throughout Brazil.

In 1965, the Headquarters of the World Messianic Church in Brazil was founded with the presence of the world president of the Church, Rev. Masakazu Fujieda.

Still in 1965, the Church’s first periodical, called “Glória”, was written in Portuguese.

In 1968, under the leadership of the reverend Teruko Sato, the headquarters of the Tupã Church was inaugurated, in the interior of São Paulo.

On January 17, 1969, the Church’s first headquarters in Rio de Janeiro was inaugurated.

On May 15, 1969, the headquarters of Brazil’s temple was inaugurated.

In 1970, the Priestly Formation Seminar was created with a view to training Brazilian member ministers.

In the same year, Brazilian caravanners began to be sent on pilgrimage to the Sacred Soils of Japan.

In 1971, the Messianic Foundation (renamed Mokiti Okada Foundation in 1981) was created for the development of artistic, cultural, assistance and research activities, especially in the field of agriculture and the environment.

In 1974, the Ikebana Sanguetsu Academy was introduced in Brazil, which is based on the spiritual and philosophical principles of Meishu-Sama.

In 1976, with the restructuring of the diffusion system in Brazil, the Rev. Tetsuo Watanabe became the spiritual leader of the Church.

In the period that followed, thanks to the sincere dedication of all the members, the World Messianic Church in Brazil showed an extraordinary growth, which opened the horizons for the salvation activities to be developed in Brazil and abroad.

As a result of this growth, in 1982, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the birth of Meishu-Sama, the Mokiti Okada building was opened, adjacent to the temple of the Central Headquarters of Brazil. This fact is of great sociocultural relevance, a milestone in the consolidation of the World Messianic Church in Brazil.

That same year, 1,027 Brazilian Messianic pilgrims to the Sacred Soils of Japan.

In 1985, with the purpose of requesting authorization from the General Headquarters of Japan for the construction of the Ancestors’ Address (Sorei-sha) in Brazil, a commission of representatives of the Brazilian Messianics was formed, composed of the President of the Church, Rev. Tetsuo Watanabe, by the members of the Deliberative Council (Rev. Katsumi Yamamoto, Rev. Mutsumi Fujitani, Rev. Hitoshi Nishikawa, Min. Carlos Antunes Coelho, Rev. Pedro Partezan, Min. Xavier Oronce Guérin), by the members of the Fiscal Council (Min. João Lopes dos Santos, Min. Isnar Campelo, Min. Waldemar Nogueira) and the Rev. Katsuyuki Moriyama, Léo Rodrigues de Almeida and Júlio Barbieri Júnior. This request was sent to the Third Spiritual Leader. Later, when visiting the land on the banks of the Guarapiranga Reservoir, the Third Leader suggested: “Why isn’t a Sacred Soil built here?”

Thus, on September 17, 1989, the Launching Ceremony of the Fundamental Stone of the Sacred Soil of Guarapiranga was carried out and, in 1991, construction began.

In 1994, Korin Empreendimentos was created to promote, sell and market the production of farmers practicing the Natural Agriculture method recommended by Meishu-Sama.

In November 1995, the Guarapiranga Sacred Soil was inaugurated with the participation of thousands of people who were thrilled to see the love and tireless commitment of all those who contributed to the realization of this great Meishu-Sama ideal materialized in that Sacred Soil.

In the last twenty years, based on the work of the pioneers, the Messianic Church has been expanding strongly not only in Brazil but worldwide. Today, as a concrete result of dedication, there are more than 500 religious units in our country, where, daily, Messianics dedicate, improve and commit themselves to the practice of altruistic love, serving the happiness of people.

Korin Empreendimentos, founded with a business vision based on the philosophy and method of Mokiti Okada Natural Agriculture, privileges the perfect balance between preservation and use of natural resources and has become a national and international reference when it comes to the sustainable production of healthy foods , which do not compromise the environment or the health of the farmer and the consumer. Today, thanks to the efforts of its employees, its products and services are present in all states of the country and abroad.

The Mokiti Okada Foundation operates in the national territory through programs, projects and activities in various fields such as health, art, education, the environment, serving the most varied audiences – children, youth, adults and the best age -, and involving organized civil society, communities, researchers and public authorities.

Over the years, many projects and initiatives have been awarded for their content of innovation and commitment to the well-being of society. For the Foundation, as important as the work carried out throughout its existence, are the fruits harvested with its actions, which point out significant results and capable of transforming lives.

Here we present a brief history of our Church. We reiterate that all of this was only possible thanks to the protection of God and Meishu-Sama and the determination and commitment of each Messianic, starting with our pioneers.

Our commitment is to continue this sacred work, based on the sublime Teachings and attitudes of Meishu-Sama, building a solid and unselfish faith. Sincere Serving dedicated to the salvation of humanity and the construction of Earthly Paradise is our mission.

[5] Kyusei Kyo is the natural reading of the ideograms (救世 教) that make up the name of the Messianic Church in Japanese.

[6] Kyusei means “salvation of the world”.

[7] Teaching “About the name of Meshiya Kyo”, 2/18/1950.

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