Thursday, November 02, 2006

fake priests in demand for weddings in Japan

Only 1% of Japanese are Christian, yet 90% of the weddings are conducted in the Western or Christian style.

And because there aren’t enough genuine Japanese Christian ministers or Catholic priests to go around, this necessitates the use of “fake” priests---guys who pretend to be priests or ministers just to give the couple and their families and guests the “atmosphere” of a Christian-style ceremony.

And apparently, this is a booming business in Japan.

According to Mark Kelly, a fake priest originally from England, “Being a fake priest is big business in Japan - I've done a TV commercial for one company.” He adds: "In Sapporo, there are five agencies employing about 20 fake priests. In a city like Tokyo, there must be hundreds."

What happens when these fake priests come across a real one? The report from the BBC quotes one Japanese Christian priest who spoke out: "It is a real problem for us. They are not genuine and they give us a bad name," he said, adding: "It is important for the bride and groom to have a proper wedding, and they are not getting it from these foreign priests. I have even heard of hotels using staff when they can't find anyone else."

One bride was surprised to find out that some of the Western priests were not genuine.

She said: "I thought the priests were all real and I think everyone in Japan thinks that."

Think again.

Powered by Blogger