Aug. 6 and 9, 2020, mark the 75th anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The Church of the Brethren has been involved in peace witness in Hiroshima through the placement of Brethren Volunteer Service workers at the World Friendship Center. Currently, Roger and Kathy Edmark of Lynnwood, Wash., are serving as directors of the center through BVS (see www.wfchiroshima.com/english).
Ecumenical partner organizations of the Church of the Brethren are marking the anniversaries in a variety of ways.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) at its first assembly in 1948 declared that war with atomic weapons is a “sin against God and a degradation of man,” and since then has continued to call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. In a release, the WCC noted that the US attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki “devastated those cities and killed or injured several hundred thousands of people. Many more suffered for years afterwards, from having been exposed to the deadly radiation released into the air and water on those days.”
Through August, WCC is publishing a series of blog posts highlighting different reflections and experiences of those who are calling for an end to nuclear weapons, from Japan, the Pacific, nuclear weapons states, and those advocating at the global level. Find the blog online starting with the first post, “75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Has your country ratified the UN treaty?” by Jennifer Philpot-Nissen at https://blog.oikoumene.org/posts/75th-anniversary-of-the-nuclear-attacks-on-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-has-your-country-ratified-the-un-treaty .
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the US (NCC) is publicizing the “75th Commemorative Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” an online event Aug. 6 and 9 marking the first use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sponsors of the event include international ecumenical and peace organizations. Leaders include the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who serve as president and vice president of Mayors for Peace, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, and other international leaders. The event will call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Find out more and register at www.voices-uri.org/registration .
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