Japan’s Suicide Rate

“Japan has the eighth highest suicide rate in the world, according to the World Health Organization.”

AP reported that today in an article that mentioned how frequent suicides by toxic fumes are in Japan. It is saddening to hear that Japan’s suicide rate is so high-one of the highest for a first-world country. One may wonder where God is when one hears such tragedies. I honestly think that a lot of Japanese do wonder where God is. That alone should be motivation for Christians to tell Japanese people about Christ.

“Can Christianity really lower the sucide rate?” one may wonder. Let’s look at a few facets of the suicides that occur. Group suicides is not uncommon in Japan-it occurs many times. As reported by the AP, people may meet online, buy/borrow a car and go together somewhere farther off from civilization and kill themselves together. This is an interesting phenomenon. I really wonder how people can converse with each other about killing themselves, and neither one talks them out of it-or maybe they do and we just never hear about it.

For the ones who do go through with it, it’s sad to think that the relationship they had was broken by themselves. In our culture, suicides usually occur when people least expect it. I don’t mean to stereotype, but what I mean is that usually people say after a suicide in America that if somebody had just reached out to the victim¬†or if the victim had just asked for help, then the suicide would have been prevented. People who commit suicide usually don’t tell anyone else. It’s kind of taboo-the moment you say something to somebody, that person will likely¬†react and get help for the suicidal person.

I feel that if somebody is reached with Christ, they can find rest in a living God. The idea is that Christ seeks to change people from the inside out, not the other way around. Because He is God, He can enter into somebody’s life from the inside and change their hearts. That is what is necessary for anyone to feel reprieve from their stress, worry, fear or whatever. A misconception is that Christ is like a genie who, when you pray to Him, will grant every prayer to come true. He knows what is best for everyone, including all the Japanese who think their lives need to end. I don’t believe in a God who thinks that people should end their lives.

The thought of people just living their lives wondering if there is something greater that cares for them is hard to take in. Many people in America could care less about God-I understand that. And it would be hard for them to take in the thought that somebody is shoving religion down people’s throats in Japan. Christians do believe in a God who has revealed Himself as the only way to salvation. But He doesn’t provide just salvation-my God changes people while on Earth. And he changes them without religion-anyone can receive Christ as their personal savior. That’s what Japan needs to know.

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