Nagasaki, Japan, Jul 3, 2018 / 02:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Places of major importance for Japanese Christianity, including the Nagasaki basilica commemorating 26 Catholic martyrs, have been selected as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

“These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century,” said the June 30 announcement from the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“Together they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan – the phase of encounter, followed by times of

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