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The Tokyo Chiku Menonaito Kyokai Rengo consisted in 1986 of five churches scattered from central Tokyo to three surrounding prefectures. The groups were small with fewer than 100 members total, but were growing slowly into ongoing Mennonite churches. Four Japanese workers (largely self-supporting), two expatriate missionary couples, and one short-term couple provided leadership in 1986. Two churches had their own buildings; the other three were house churches. More than 20,000,000 people lived in the Greater Tokyo area.

The first Mennonite missionaries came to Japan in 1949 and the early 1950s. They began pioneer evangelism in Hokkaido, Osaka, Yamaguchi (southern Honshu), and Kyushu. As churches were formed, seekers and new believers, especially students, from the outlying areas gradually found their way to Tokyo.

In August 1953, the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church) sent a missionary couple to Tokyo. The present Honan-cho church center purchased property and began work in 1954. On 15 January 1956 the first three baptisms took place. Mennonite Central Committee opened a peace witness in Tokyo that same year, providing personnel thereafter for 13 years. By 1963 there were three missionary couples in the city, representing the Brethren in Christ, General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM), and Mennonite Church (MC).

In 1964 the Mennonite-related churches in Tokyo formed an official conference under the name Keihin Dendo Kyoryokukai (Greater Tokyo Evangelism Cooperative Association). That existed until 1979 when the Brethren in Christ groups withdrew to form their own organization.

The remaining groups then formed a new conference (GCM/MC) called Tokyo Chiku Menonaito Kyokai Rengo with continued cooperation from both the Commission on Overseas Missions (GCM) and Mennonite Board of Missions (MC) in North America. The reorganized conference also cooperated with the two boards in sponsoring the Japan Anabaptist Center (guesthouse and study center), plus the newly built Friedmann-Sakakibara Library with more than 5,000 Mennonite publications.

Tokyo Area Fellowship members prayed and remained confident that many more churches would emerge in the Tokyo area with the increasing maturity of its body of believers.

See also Urban Church.

[edit] Bibliography

Kraybill, Paul N., ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 157-160.

Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 39.

Author(s) Yoshihira Inamine
Date Published 1989

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Inamine, Yoshihira. "Tokyo Chiku Menonaito Kyokai Rengo (Tokyo Area Fellowship of Mennonite Churches)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 30 Apr 2017.

APA style

Inamine, Yoshihira. (1989). Tokyo Chiku Menonaito Kyokai Rengo (Tokyo Area Fellowship of Mennonite Churches). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 April 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 887. All rights reserved.

©1996-2017 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.