August marks the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has joined a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world that issued a call to governments to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. “Nuclear weapons do not create peace; rather, they intensify the scourge and threat of war in our world, lives and communities,” the statement says. César García, general secretary of MWC, says, “As a historic peace church, MWC opposes war and violence as a means to solve problems at a personal or state level. Nuclear weapons, which cause indiscriminate destruction of humans and creation long after their discharge, must not be a tool for any country. MWC has formally spoken against nuclear threats for decades.” The statement calls governments to commit to a world that is “more peaceful, safe and just,” without nuclear weapons. By the end of 1945, 213 000 people had died as a result of the bombings in Japan. The attacks caused pain, suffering and more death of both humans and creation in the following years. The statement recognizes the survivors of those attacks who bear witness to the harm of nuclear weapons. “We lament the racism and colonialism that drove the nuclear-weapon states to test their weapons on the communities that they deemed expendable, lives far away from their own, lives that mattered less, lives that were taken in pursuit of destructive power for a few,” the statement says. “We acknowledge the immense suffering, oppression and exploitation faced by the Indigenous communities around the world whose bodies, lands, waters and air have served as the testing grounds for the ambitions of those who dominate with force.” The United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017; it would enter into force 90 days after it is ratified by 50 states.
This article was originally published by The Mennonite