Mass Crucifixion of Christians in Nagasaki, Japan - February 5, 1597
This week marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of 26 Christians at the Japanese city of Nagasaki under the rule of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, chief minister to the emperor.
As Japan became unified under one government, the nation became increasingly hostile to foreigners, including Catholic priests and missionaries.
The 26 people crucified at Nagasaki included 6 foreign-born missionaries and 20 Japanese Christians. It represented only the beginning of a national wave of violent persecution.
In 1862, the 26 martyrs were canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and in the twentieth century, a monument was erected at the site of the mass crucifixion in their honor.