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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Church in Japan: Implications for the Earthquake Aftermath


The earthquake that hit Japan will have considerable implications for Mormons. The Church is strong in Japan and there are numerous missionaries stationed there. A recent Church News article, "'Communicating' is a critical element of preparedness" suggests that church leaders play an important part in disasters.
In 2005, public health professor Sarah Bass of Temple University noted researchers found "people universally rely on television and radio for information during an emergency. But surprisingly, they say, half of respondents would go to their clergy for information, highlighting the important role that non-traditional communicators play in emergency response."
I am confident that the informal Mormon network will convey as much information as the official ones will. Here is what we know so far:


-All missionaries outside of the Sendai Japan Mission are safe and accounted for.
-There are six dozen missionaries serving in the Sendai Mission.
-The Church is assessing what help will be needed in Japan.
-All missionaries in Japan have cell phones
-The Tokyo Temple appears structurally sound but the Angel Moroni has rotated 45 degrees (see picture, scroll down until you see two pictures of the spires and Angel Moroni side by side.)
-Anyone with concerns or questions about a missionary serving in the Sendai area could call the main church office at 801-240-1000.
-President Tateoka of the Sendai Japan Mission did send an email update to the Alumni site.
-About 2/3's of the Sendai Japan Missionaries have made contact and there are no injuries/death, all safe so far.
-Members as well as Missionaries are now the focus of the Church's efforts.
-The Laie, Hawaii temple is on higher ground than the surrounding area. People have been told to evacuate to this area in anticipation of tsunami waves.
-The Tokyo Temple annex chapel is housing refugees
- All Church missionaries are now safe and accounted for.
Missionary in Japan Shares Experience with Quake

Current News and Information
- 03/25/11 Church Humanitarian Aid, Japanese Church Members Helping People Suffering From Disaster
- 03/26/11 Church responds to Japan disaster
- 03/26/11 Members safe after 9.0 disaster

- 03/28/11 Mormon Church distributing relief aid in Japan

The Church will now update this article when updates are necessary.


Here are some sources to keep an eye on:
The Church's official web site in Japan (Have Google translate into English)
Facebook site for the Church's press service (Have Google translate page, not sure if it is official)
Japan Sendai Mission Alumni Site


Church's Official Newsroom
Church News and Events
LDS Church News
Mormon Times (from Deseret News)


news organization is now running the photos of the Angel Moroni rotation on the Tokyo Temple. Interestingly, according to another web site, other Moroni's have had the trumpet separated from their grasp during earthquakes:
The trumpets of the angel Moroni statues on the Santiago Chile Temple, Tokyo Japan Temple, and Apia Samoa Temple have been lofted out of Moroni's grasp during earthquakes.
See other facts about the temple at this official site and at this unofficial site.

I've created a simple Google RSS News Feed for this issue. Feel free to use it.


In this article, the American Red Cross provides information on how to locate loved ones in Japan whether they are citizens or travelers, including whether to check if they have left messages from their cell phones on their status.


The Christian Science Monitor details ways to help and how to contribute assistance.

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