The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Japan in 1948 and recognized the Japan Lutheran Church (JLC), or Nihon Ruteru Kyodan (NRK), as a sister church of the LCMS in 1971. However, in 2021 the JLC decided to abandon the authority of Scripture and departed from LCMS fellowship by adopting the practice of woman’s ordination as pastors. After confirming the JLC break in relations during the LCMS 2023 convention, the LCMS remained dedicated to the public ministry of Word and Sacrament in Japan—that it might be conducted in a way consistent with the Gospel purely taught and the Sacraments correctly administered. Today, LCMS mission work in Japan continues by the establishment of worship sites, translation of theological resources and nurturing relations with local Japanese Lutheran pastors who are dedicated to sound doctrine and practice.


Meet the international team. We have more than 200 missionaries working around the globe.