This article considers the relationship between stringent and arbitrary censorship policies and “religious freedom,” something “guaranteed” with significant qualifications by the Meiji Constitution, in pre-World War II Japan. In particular, this article explores the role of censorship in shaping the contours of acceptable religious practice by focusing on a regional Christian news monthly, the “Gunma Christian World Monthly.” Edited by Kashiwagi Gien, a rural Congregational minister, this monthly introduced a diverse range of ideas from socialism to critiques of militarism and imperialism. Kashiwagi's espousal of these ideas also made him the focus of local censors. By focusing on two occasions when Kashiwagi's spirited critiques of the state attracted the attention of local authorities, this article examines the complex and contingent process by which the state and its regional agents used legal means to manage the contours of acceptable belief in pre-World War II Japan. The relationship between Kashiwagi and the local police and prosecutors who attempted to manage and regulate “acceptable” content and, by extension, acceptable religious opinion, offers an important and hitherto unexamined site to consider the question of how religious freedom was interpreted by the state, local officials, and religionists.