Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIV.: Why the Christian Religion is so odious in Japan. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XIV.: Why the Christian Religion is so odious in Japan. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Why the Christian Religion is so odious in Japan.
WE have already mentioned* the perverse temper of the people of Japan. The magistrates considered the firmness which Christianity inspires, when they attempted to make the people renounce their faith, as in itself most dangerous: they fancied that it increased their obstinacy. The law of Japan punishes severely the least disobedience. The people were ordered to renounce the Christian religion: they did not renounce it; this was disobedience: the magistrates punished this crime; and the continuance in disobedience seemed to deserve another punishment.
Punishments amongst the Japanese are considered as the revenge of an insult done to the prince. The songs of triumph sung by our martyrs appeared as an outrage against him; the title of martyr provoked the magistrates; in their opinion it signified rebel: they did all in their power to prevent their obtaining it. Then it was that their minds were exasperated, and a horrid struggle was seen between the tribunals that condemned, and the accused who suffered; between the civil laws, and those of religion.
[* ]Book iv. chap. 24.