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The town of Shingo in Japan claims to be the burial site of Jesus of Nazareth: someone took his place on the cross, and he made his way to Japan, where he died. (Wikipedia.) Do, or did, any denominations of Christianity believe this, and which?

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I can't help but wonder how someone was supposed to take his place when he was under armed guard the whole time... –  Mason Wheeler Dec 16 '11 at 17:33
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I'm not an expert, but without the death/resurrection isn't He just Jesus the dissident activist, not Jesus the Christ - hence surely no Christian sect could believe that (as it is contradictory to Christian). It might be valid for other non-Christian groups to believe that, of course. Or maybe I'm entirey wrong. My point: I suspect we can eliminate Christian sects from consideration. –  Marc Gravell Dec 16 '11 at 18:14
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wow that is a long boat ride..... –  Greg McNulty Mar 14 '12 at 1:15

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

The Kakure Kirishitan literally Hidden Christians were a sect of Japanese believers who received the Gospel in the 1600s, but after foreigners were expelled and went underground. In the 200 years or so following, they developed many peculiar to syncretic to downright heretical ideas about Christianity, mainly based on passed down traditions that had become corrupted over time. What characterized their worship, for example, was a Buddhist sounding chant using Latin-sounding version of the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary.

That said, two points are in order:

  1. I could not locate any information about a supposed kakure krishitan burial site for Jesus Christ, one way or another. From the link provided, I see the reference, but no mention of kakure krishitan. That said, it wouldn't be an unreasonable assumption.

  2. Such a position, that Jesus died and stayed in the grave is as fundamentally heterodox as it gets. C.S. Lewis, for example, stated that the resurrection was the essential distinctive of Christianity, without which the religion was useless. Paul also stated, "If in Christ we have hope in this life only [i.e. no resurrection], we are of all people most to be pitied." (1st Corinthians 15:19 ESV) The resurrection and the empty tomb are sine qua nons of the faith.

In short, if Jesus' bones have any resting place, the whole thing falls apart.

As such, its really hard to call any sect that denies the resurrection Christian.*


* I know we're not supposed to answer "are X Christians" or not—I'm not trying to say this of any group—only an essential doctrine that is a clear dividing line between Christian and other.

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+1, thanks. 15c –  msh210 Dec 18 '11 at 15:49
    
This reminds me of an old heresy, but I can't seem to find it. Instead, I found that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the body of Jesus died and that God removed the boyd. source Similar concept to this one, but not quite the same. –  Richard Dec 20 '11 at 14:31

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