In the coming weeks, a film speculated by many to be Martin Scorsese’s most personal and poignant project to date will release throughout the United States.
“While Silence depicts a Japan deeply resistant to Christian influence,” says Ken Marotte in this week’s Acton Commentary, “the story actually begins approximately 100 years earlier, when Christianity was not only tolerated, but encouraged.”
The Christian faith reached Japan’s shores in 1549, when Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuit order and one of the church’s most prolific missionaries, made landfall. As superior of the mission in Goa, India, Francis had heard a great deal about Japan. He concluded that the Japanese were an educated, industrious, and reasonable people, and so particularly ripe for the Gospel message.