Cristóvão Ferreira (c. 1580–1650) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Jesuit missionary who committed apostasy after being captured and tortured during the anti-Christian purges in 17th-century Japan. During the Tokugawa shogunate, Christian missionaries and their Japanese followers were persecuted, arrested and executed. Authorities were concerned that the religion was making followers loyal to Christian nations rather than the Emperor or the Shogunate.
After Ferreira had renounced his faith, he remained in Japan for the rest of his life. He became known as one of the "fallen priests" who assisted Japanese authorities with their knowledge of Western philosophies and sciences.
Early life and career
Born around 1580, in Torres Vedras, Portugal, Ferreira was sent to Asia, where he was a missionary from 1609 to 1633 in Japan, which was then ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate.
In 1633, Ferreira was captured and renounced Christianity after being tortured