The book, Silence, was written in the 1960’s by a Roman Catholic author by the name of Shasaku Endo. This novel has become one of Shasaku Endo’s finest and has become a very well known novel that describes the time in Japan throughout the seventeenth-century. This novel is based on a story and life of Japan missionaries who lived within the years of the seventeenth-century. This was approximately within the years of the 1630s and the 1640s in the seventeenth-century. The author describes how these Japanese missionaries had to live a life and go through a time in history where they were tested on their faith. This time in history was called “the Christian century” (Endo, p. vii).
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In the novel, it describes how the Japanese authorities were forcing the priest to reclaim their faith in Christianity. These Christian priests were brutally beaten and tormented until they did what they were told to do by the authorities.
It was not too long after their arrival to Japan, Rodrigues and Garrpe where captured by Japanese authorities these and were also forced to deny their Christian faith along with the other Christian believers. Not only were these Jesuit priests tortured and forced to reclaim their faith; but person who claimed themselves as a Christian were too forced to renounce their faith in order to save themselves from a deathly outcome. This caused a major struggle for not only the Japanese people who claim them as a Christian, but also the missionaries as well.
Not only did this cause a major spiritual struggle for the missionaries and the Japanese, but it psychological struggle as well. These people had to go through brutal and tortuous pain and treatment so that they can renounce their Christian faith. This can cause one to doubtful and question God as well; such as doubting and questioning if God is even real? As a Christian believer, we believe and know that as long as we believe in God, then He will be with us at all times. The Bible says, “The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life” (Psalm 121:7, NIV). However, Rodrigues had to see and experience for himself the cries and the pain that him and the Japanese Christians had to go through for the love that they have for Christ.
With the Japanese authorities going around the country and causing this mass destruction to the Christian people and the missionaries, this could have also created some hatred with God as well. Hatred in a sense of why is God not answering their cries and their prayers? Why is God being ‘silent’? These people wanted to prove to the Japanese authorities that their God is real and their God is a God of justice and love.
“Lord, it is now that you should break the silence. You must not remain silent. Prove that you are justice, that you are goodness, that you are love. You must say something to show the world that you are the august one” (Endo, p. 168).
It was at this time in the persecution of the people of Japan where their faith in Christ was severely tested. These people had to choose...