Friday, May 05, 2006


Bettelheim is an interesting figure in Okinawan Christian History.
A Christian Jew born in Hungary, he came to Okinawa as a Medical Missionary in 1846. He was the first missionary to come to Okinawa. He was also forced to live on Shinto shrine grounds, where a monument to his work can be seen:

Bettelheim took the book of James seriously: he met people's physical as well as their spiritual needs. He helped to control cholera and was the one to introduce the smallpox vaccine to Japan.

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