On Anniversary of Hiroshima Comes a Call for Peace, Prayer


On the 49th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish leaders are launching a yearlong series of activities to “proclaim liberty from violence.”

They propose that the 12 months between the 49th and 50th anniversaries of Hiroshima should be designated a biblical Year of Jubilee--a tradition that called for every 50th year to be a time of turning from patterns of oppression and restoring creation to its intended purpose of justice and peace.

“Violence is an increasingly central reality of modern life,” the statement said. “Whether it is domestic violence in our homes, gun violence on the streets and in our schools, or ethnic violence in numerous regions around the world, violence appears to be on the rise.”

The bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The yearlong observance will include special worship services, conferences, pilgrimages, prayer and Scripture study.


Among those signing the letter were the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; The Rev. Thomas Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of Detroit; Loretta Horton, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, president, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Glen Stassen, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.