Church of World Messianity

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Church of World Messianity

The Church of World Messianity (世界救世教 Sekai Kyūsei Kyō in Japanese), abbreviated COWM, is a Japanese new religion founded in 1935 by Mokichi Okada. The religion's key concept is johrei, claimed to be a method of channeling divine light into the body of another for the purposes of healing. Members believe that, in 1926, Okada received a divine revelation and was empowered to be a channel of God's Healing Light (johrei) to remove illness, poverty, and strife from the world and inaugurate a new Messianic Age. Okada's teaching is represented by the scripture, Johrei, which has been edited and translated by the Society of Johrei, an offshoot of COWM.

The religion currently claims 800,000 followers, including many in Brazil. Shinji Shumeikai (神慈秀明会?), also known as Shumei, also follows the teachings of Okada and is considered a descendant of the church by CFAR.[1]

According to anthropologist of religion Winston Davis, Mahikari groups are comparable to Church of World Messianity and follow basically the same healing ritual.[2]

In Brazil[edit]

Church of World Messianity in Guarapiranga

Brazil has the largest concentration of Japanese and people of Japanese descent outside Japan. According to Hideaki Matsuoka, University of California, Berkeley, in a presentation at the Summer 2000 Asian Studies Conference Japan entitled "Messianity Makes the Person Useful: Describing Differences in a Japanese Religion in Brazil," Japanese new religions have propagated in Brazil since the 1930s and they now have at least a million non-Japanese Brazilian followers. Three major religions ranked by the number of followers are Seicho-no-Ie, Messianity, Mahikari and PL Kyodan.

In Brazil, Guarapiranga is the sacred place of the Church of World Messianity (Portuguese: Igreja Messiânica Mundial).


  1. ^ Centers for Apologetics Research (CFAR) – International Countercult Ministries > Search Groups
  2. ^ Winston, Davis 1980, pp. 75–76


  • Matsuoka, Hideaki. University of California, Berkeley, "Messianity Makes the Person Useful: Describing Differences in a Japanese Religion in Brazil", presented at the Summer 2000 Asian Studies Conference Japan.
  • Wilson, Andrew, ed. (1991). World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts (ISBN 0-89226-129-3). New York, NY: Paragon House Publishers. Contains over 4,000 scriptural passages from 268 sacred texts and 55 oral traditions gathered by Wilson, a follower of Sun Myung Moon. The material is organized under 145 themes common to the texts and traditions. This site contains the complete text of the printed book.
  • Davis, Winston (1980), DOJO: Magic and Exorcism in Modern Japan, Stanford University Press, pp. 75–76, ISBN 0-8047-1131-3 

External links[edit]