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WCC statement on the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

It was nearly 70 years ago on 6 and 9 August 1945 that the atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These are tragedies that are to be remembered and must never happen again, Isabel Apawo Phiri, associate and acting general secretary of the WCC, said.

05 August 2014

August 6th and 9th are days to remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, tragedies that must never happen again.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the hundreds of thousands of people who suffered these terrible attacks and to the aging survivors among them who still cry “Never again” today.  We also pray for those whose lives and lands have been shattered as a result of the many nuclear tests which followed World War Two—in the Pacific, Central Asia, the western United States and elsewhere.

We pray for God to deliver all people from nuclear dangers in a world still heavily armed with nuclear weapons 69 years after World War Two and 23 years after the Cold War.

Nuclear weapons cannot be reconciled with real peace and must be eliminated, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches declared last month.  God the Creator calls life into being from atoms and molecules and makes all of creation worthy of wonder, celebration and praise, delegates from member churches noted.  To use the energy of the atom to threaten life is a sinful misuse of God’s creation, they said.

Christians have a witness to make by abandoning all support for nuclear weapons and by refusing to accept that the mass destruction of other peoples can be a legitimate form of protection for ourselves, the statement says.

Today we pray that the leaders of nations which rely on nuclear weapons in North America, Europe and Asia will finally heed the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and give up their nuclear arsenals.

We give thanks for the majority of governments today who are calling anew for conclusive action to eliminate nuclear weapons because of what these weapons do to humanity and the environment.  May God bless them with courage and strengthen them in their resolve.

Isabel Apawo Phiri

Associate General Secretary (Diakonia and Public Witness)
Acting General Secretary