Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Commemorating 75 years since the atomic bombings

No comments

The Pax Christi International movement commemorates the 75th anniversary of bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here are some events and actions from our members and partners that are part of this global remembrance.

Pax Christi International

1) Together with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network and the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, we are co-sponsoring a webinar with the Archbishop of Nagasaki, Joseph Takami, Bishop David Malloy, chair of the international committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Dr Maryann Love of the Catholic University of America. A video of the event will premiere online on Monday, 3 August. Please click here for more information.

2) Our Nuclear Disarmament working group has written letters to bishops and bishops’ conferences urging national and regional action on the abolition of nuclear weapons. The letters call for advocacy to encourage governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, just as the bishops’ conferences of Japan and Canada did prior to Pope Francis’ visit to Japan. A special outreach was made to bishops’ conferences in Europe, where most governments have not signed the nuclear ban. The letters also encourage education in parishes, schools, and communities about the danger and costs of nuclear weapons.

3) The letter was supported with a video highlighting the enormous cost of nuclear weapons versus the relatively low cost of pandemic response. The video is available in seven languages on our YouTube channel.

4) Pax Christi International and many of our members signed an Open Letter on Humanitarian Disarmament and Covid-19.

5) Pax Christi International and 18 of its member organizations are among the 189 signatories of a Joint Interfaith Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 6 August 2020.

Members and Partners

Missionary Society of St Columban issued a message in honour of the anniversaries calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, public apologies for war crimes, and the promotion of nonviolence.

Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand will host a prayer liturgy on 6 August, drawing on their 2018 Praying for Peace. This will include a change to make an origami peace crane and view the ICAN film “The Vow from Hiroshima.” They have also sent to all six dioceses some intercessional prayers for 6 and 9 August, and information for parish newsletters.

Pax Christi England and Wales has sent solidarity messages to partners in Japan. Other actions include engaging banks and pension funds on nuclear weapons financing, hosting social-distancing outdoor witness events, and sharing prayers for parish use on Sunday, 9 August. They are also hosting online liturgies daily from 6 to 9 August, as well as a four-day fast beginning on 6 August. For more info, please visit their website.

Pax Christi Flanders is making and sending paper cranes to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as part of commemorations with the city of Leuven (Belgium) on 5 August. They are also organising an online action for people to send virtual cranes to Japan by tagging them in social media. They will coordinate a peace flag action with cities to promote nuclear disarmament on the International Day of Peace (21 September). For more info, please visit their website.

Pax Christi Germany is organizing or involved in 24 different actions from 1-9 August. There will be public peace prayers at Ramstein Air Base and in city centers, vigils, memorial services, talks, debates and exhibitions in Cologne, Karlsruhe, Mainz, Munich and many more places. These events are part of 160 Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations being staged by civil society organizations in the German Peace Movement Network  

Pax Christi Italy wrote a letter signed by their president Bishop Giovanni Ricchiuti to the president of the Italian bishops’ conference. They have launched a campaign to involve all dioceses and distributed an Italian version of The Real Cost of Nuclear Weapons video to the media.

Pax Christi Korea, as a way to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, has organised a signature campaign to ask the Korean government and others to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons together with partner organisations like Solidarity for Peace and Solidarity and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) in solidarity with Korean victims of the atomic bombs, estimated about 50,000 who were forced to work in Hiroshima and Nakasaki in 1945. 

Pax (Netherlands) has organised an online petition saying never again to nuclear weapons. Click here to sign.

Pax Christi Philippines will circulate a commemorative poster via email and social media on 6 August and host a virtual Hiroshima and Nagasaki exhibit. The Center for Peace Education, the secretariat of Pax Christi Philippines will co-host a webinar at 3pm (PHST) “The Making of a Peaceliner: Stories of Hiroshima & the Pandemic.” On 9 August they will post a commemorative poster and show the ICAN film “Vow from Hiroshima” and promote the ICAN signature campaign. For more information follow the Center for Peace Education on Facebook or Twitter.

Pax Christi Scotland is hosting an online vigil with Professor Alastair McIntosh and Ellen Charlton. It will take place on Thursday, 6 August, 7pm (local time). Click here for more info or to register.

Pax Christi USA has launched The Peace Ribbon project with a coalition of partner organisations. The project raises awareness of nuclear threat and invites participants to express through art what would be lost by the use of a nuclear weapon.

Pax Christi Vienna, with the Hiroshima Group Vienna and the Vienna Peace Movement, are hosting a memorial on 6 August at Vienna’s Stephansplatz. As part of the event, they are collecting messages from peace-loving people to be made available on www.hiroshima.at. Pax Christi International sent a message and encourages others to do the same.

The Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the United Kingdom issued a statement on the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is coordinating a number of activities to commemorate the anniversary of the atomic bombings. These include a template letter for advocacy to use with governments and corporate executives. As a member of ICAN, Pax Christi International encourages its members to take specific actions on promoting the entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Find out more here.

Original Child Bomb is an hour long mixed-media documentary about the human cost of nuclear weapons. The film is built around seldom-seen archival footage of the nuclear devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The title refers to a poem by Thomas Merton, the pioneering mystic, monk, activist and author. With music by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Mos Def. The film is produced by friend and supporter of Pax Christi International Mary Becker.

Peace + Art + Music is hosting a 24-hour global broadcast featuring contributions from around the world. The City of Hiroshima and Heart of Peace Hiroshima are co-hosting this event along with many other organisations and partners. To see the list of performers and info about joining the ceremonies, please click here.