Thursday, August 08, 2013

Lessons and legacies of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversary.

Events in northeast Asia this year “dramatize how much the region and the world still live in the shadow of mass destruction,” the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary said in a comment on the 68th anniversary this week of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. “The God of life calls all of us to take up [the survivors’] tireless cry and make certain that a Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombing can never happen again.”

Churches from around the world are coming to South Korea soon for the 10th Assembly of the WCC. Participants will learn the Hiroshima legacy from churches there, said WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit. These include Cold War rivals North Korea and the United States “still brandishing nuclear weapons,” increasing US military deployments in the region, and government officials in Tokyo speculating about Japan developing nuclear weapons.

Sixty years after the Korean War ceasefire, “none of the antagonists have a peace treaty,” Tveit noted, “but every country in northeast Asia has its own nuclear arms or accepts protection from US nuclear weapons.” He cited Buddhist, Christian, and civil society advocacy that the Korean Peninsula “must be freed of nuclear weapons as a cornerstone for any durable peace.”

The finest tribute to the two destroyed cities, Tveit said, will be to achieve the elderly survivors’ undying hope. This means ensuring that no one suffers the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever again. It means protecting “God’s gift of life...for the good of all.”

-- This report is from a World Council of Churches release. The WCC promotes Christian unity in faith, witness, and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member communions representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. Find the full text of Tveit’s comments at .

Source: 8/8/2013 Newsline

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