Church apologizes for inhumane treatment of leprosy patients

The Synod of the Anglican Church in Japan, the Nippon Sei Ko kai (NSKK) has issued a public apology for their part in the isolation and inhumane treatment of individuals with Hansen s Disease (leprosy).


According to the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Hansen s Disease is a persistent contagious illness that primarily impacts the peripheral nerves, skin, upper breathing tract, eyes, and nasal mucosa. It is brought on by bacillus (rod-shaped) germs called Mycobacterium leprae. Contrary to popular myth, it is not extremely contagious.

For many years it was main government policy in Japan to separate suffers in closed institutions even burying the dead within the organizations to avoid the requirement for outsiders to check out. They even had their own churches and Buddhist temples to negate the requirement for patients to leave.

A remedy for the Hansen’s disease was discovered in the early 1940’s, however Japan preserved its Leprosy Prevention Law up until the mid-1990. Before its repeal, clients began a campaign to regain their human rights and freedom from the institutions. But this was declined by the NSKK who saw it as a political campaign and chose that it was not appropriate for spiritual company like the NSKK to be involved in it.

It has been 20 years since the repealing of the Leprosy Prevention Law in 1996, an NSKK spokesperson said. During this time NSKK has actually been active in promo of understanding and caring for Hansen’s disease patients and very much involved with great causes connected to patients in the organizations. The NSKK has not apologized to the clients.

The Church says that it ought to not have actually worked together with the government policy; and ought to have learned from the example of two Anglican missionaries who went to Japan with substantial understanding of the illness and a great deal of issue for those with it.

2aIn 1895, CMS missionary Hannah Riddell constructed a healthcare facility for those with the disease in Kumamoto. And in 1916 United Society missionary Mary Helena Cornwall Legh began the St Barnabas Mission in the Yunosawa area of, Kusatsu.

Both women were kept in high regard and around 10 per cent of the institutions population ended up being baptized members of NSKK.

The scenario was really different in the government-run institutions. Some of those who went to clients were really pleased with their faithful life at the organization, the NSKK Spokesperson said.

We did not fully understand the difficulty they experienced but just coveted their faithfulness.

At its Synod in 1996, following the repeal of the Leprosy Prevention Law, the NSKK passed a resolution identifying the lifting of this law; but it did not determine any particular actions to be taken.

At this exact same synod another resolution was passed to acknowledge our wrongful doing versus Asian Pacific countries during the Second World War and expressed apologies, the NSKK representative said. NSKK was guilty for its action or inaction in supporting the Government s seclusion policy. For more Visit for better unerstanding the fact.

The NSKK recognizes that identifies was our fault not to act sooner and faster to wants express consistently apologies to the patients.2a

Citing the example of Jesus healing the Leper in Mark 1: 40-45, the Synod said that the NSKK, as an organization, did not do as Jesus taught us.

We declare that we are completely accountable for this wrong-doing and apologies that it took so long to realize this.

In addition to the general public apology, the NSKK is introducing a public awareness and education program.

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