Reformed Church in Japan

Reformed Church in Japan
Classification Protestant
Theology Reformed Evangelical
Polity Presbyterian
Leader Takashi Yoshiba[1]
Associations was a member of the Reformed Ecumenial Council
Region Japan
Origin 1946
Separated from United Church of Christ in Japan
Congregations 220
Members 8,000-9,000
Ministers 130

The Reformed Church in Japan is confessional Reformed church in Japan. It was formerly member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, but suspended their membership.[2]


The Reformed Church in Japan was formed in 1946 in Tokyo. Before World War II, all Protestants were forced to unite in one church, the United Church in Japan. Some congregations with Reformed background left this denomination to form the Japan Reformed Church.[3] The Christian Reformed Church in North America sent missionaries to support the church. At that time the church had 9 preachers an 3 elders.[4][5] The Christian Reformed World Mission has planted 2 Presbyteries and almost 50 new congregations since entering Japan in 1951. CRCNA focus their efforts on the metropolitan Tokyo area, one of the largest metropolitan areas of the world.[6] The church has now 220 congregations an 8-9,000 members. The denomination is growing steadily. However the congregations are small, the largest has about 210 members, the smallest has about 10 members.[7] It affirms the Westminster Confession of Faith.[8] Sister church relation with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in Korea (Koshin), Reformed Church in the United States, was established.[7][9][10] The Orthodox Presbyterian Church(USA) works with a Presbytery of the Reformed Church in Japan in church planting and evangelism. The OPC provides a professor for the Kobe Theological Seminary.[11][12]


The church has 5 Presbyteries namely the Northeastern Presbytery, and Shikoku Presbytery and Western Presbytery and Central Presbytery and Tobochu Presbytery.

The Norteatern Presbytery includes churches in Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Fukui, Tottori, Shimane, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa.[13]

Shikoku Presbytery churches are in Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi and Okayama Prefecture.

Central Presbytery has congregations in Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie, Ishikawa, Fukui and Toyama.[14]

Tobuchu Presbytery has congregations in Saitama Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo Metropolitan area, Tochigi Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture.[15]


In 2004 the denomination had presbyterian-synodal church government with 4 districts, and a Synod. As of November 2014, the denomination allows for the ordination of women. Formerly the church was a member of the Reformed Ecumenical Council.

Theological education

Interchurch relations

The Reformed Church in Japan was a full member of the Reformed Ecumenical Council, it is an observer in the International Conference of Reformed Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches.[16]


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