“Religion should be universal”
To start with, no matter how perfectly it fulfills all other necessary criteria, religion is not a true religion unless it is universal at its foundation. If its nature were ethnical or national, just as the state of Japan and the world have been, it would produce conflict. Since such a religion is apt to boast of its superiority and belittle others, it not only cannot work together with other groups, but also, at times, politicians take advantage of this kind of religion to achieve their ill intents. A good example of this is during the Pacific War, the Japanese militarist government put forth a very radical Shinto ideology. Another would be the wars waged by the crusaders in Europe during the Middle Ages, which also illustrates my point well.
I can list many more examples such as these, and the reason for that is because in the past, religion was ethnically based as I just wrote above. We cannot blame anyone for this because the transportation infrastructure was not as advanced as that of today and international relations at the time were more restricted. Culture was, in short, still in its infancy, so it was, in a sense, inevitable that religion was confined to a certain location.
But now, today, everything has become global and international and so religion should also follow suit. This is why we have stopped using the word “Japan” for the name of our church and renamed it to World Church of Messiah.
Kyusei, vol. 49, February 11, 1950