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Urakami, Japan

           

Urakami was a suburb of Nagasaki, Japan. It became famous when the Nagasaki Atom bomb burst above it. Urakami had always held a special place in the heart of Japanese Catholics and was the home of the Oura, a Roman Catholic Church erected in 1864 to commemorate the crucifixion of Portugese and Japanese martyrs in 1597. It was here that Fr. Maximilian Kolbe established a monastery in May 1931. During the long years when Christianity was outlawed in Japan, it was the farming community of Urakami that kept the flame of Catholicism alive. When the Atom bomb burst over Nagasaki at 11 a.m. on August 9 1945, 39,000 people were killed outright and about 25,000 were injured, many of them Catholics. Twenty years later there were 76,300 Catholics were living in the diocese of Nagasaki.                                        

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