Over the next few days, around the world, Pax Christi members will be remembering the anniversaries of the first use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki through prayer, discussion and action.
In the UK, vigils, exhibitions and stalls will be held in London, Coventry, Oxford, Abingdon and Aylesford, inviting people to work to reverse Government policies on the renewal of Trident.
In the United States groups in New York, Los Alamos, Colorado, Dallas and Washington, to name but a few, will hold services and showings of the film 'The Forgotten Bomb: Everything Depends on Remembering'.
In Germany the President of Pax Christi Bishop Heinz Josef Algermissen, issued a statement in which he said: "A future without nuclear weapons is not only in the European interest, but is also a perspective for the whole of humanity. The banning and prohibition of nuclear weapons must be understood as step towards comprehensive security, a human right."
In Austria, Pax Christi will join with other peace groups at a vigil in the centre of Vienna, in Belgium vigils will be held in the city of Leuven.
This year, the focus of prayer also includes the plight of all those effected by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
A message sent from the International Secretariat in Brussels to members around the world said: "The deployment of the nuclear weapons in 1945 remains a defeat for humanity. Even after 66 years, the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still suffer from the effects of these bombs. This ongoing tragedy should be an eye opener and a testament to the world to "never again" use weapons of that magnitude.
"Despite 66 years of pleading and campaigning, nations still maintain nuclear weapon arsenals. While states have engaged in reduction of these weapons, we witnessed the dynamics of regional nuclearisation and the modernisation of existing arsenals and weapon systems. While people are confronted with economic hardship, military budgets continue to increase.
"Pax Christi International has been engaged for decades in local and international initiatives for nuclear disarmament. We believe it is our duty to contribute to the plea heard 66 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki…: only a world free of nuclear weapons, liberated from armed conflict and war, can do justice to the legacy of every victim of war."
For more information visit Pax Christi's website at: www.paxchristi.org.uk/
Events will include:
6 and 9 August
London . Pax Christi Hiroshima and Nagasaki Vigils
Piazza, Westminster Cathedral, London, vigil and stall.
Time: 10am - 12 noon (6th August) and 10 - 5.00pm (9th August)
6 August 5pm
Coventry. Hiroshima Vigil
Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral
A time for readings, reflection and silence. Organised by the Lord Mayor of Coventry Committee for Peace & Reconciliation
Sunday, 7 August, 2.30 - 4.30pm
New York: Pax Christi Metro to hold Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial
Casserly Hall, below St Joseph's Greenwich Village Church. Enter on Washington Place just off Sixth Avenue.
This event is a commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and an appeal to abolish nuclear weapons today.
The theme is Interfaith Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons. The group will provide an overview of Catholic Social Teaching on the topic and then hear from Buddhist and Muslim presenters. The speakers are Hiro Sakurai, chairman of the UN Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, representing the Soka Gakkai NGO, a lay Buddhist organization, and Ibrahim Ramey, Program Director of the Muslim American Society and former Program Director on Disarmament with Fellowship of Reconciliation. Preceding the talk and discussion will be an interfaith prayer. Following it will be a public witness.
For more information go to: www.nypaxchristi.org
9 August 8.20pm
Kent Nagasaki Day commemoration
Aylesford Priory, Kent
Organised by Kent area Justice & Peace
9 August 6.30pm
London: Service in memory of Franz JÄGERSTÄTTER
Crypt Chapel, Westminster Cathedral followed by walk to Battersea Peace Pagoda and Floating Lantern service.