Our gifts for Mission & Service support work with advocacy organizations like the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Setsuko Thurlow, a long-time United Church member, who is also a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). When the atomic bomb hit on August 6, 1945, killing more than 140,000 people, Setsuko was a mobilized student for the war effort at the army headquarters approximately 1.8 kilometres from the hypocentre. Eight of her family members and 351 of her schoolmates and teachers died in the attack.
“As a 13-year-old schoolgirl, I witnessed my city of Hiroshima blinded by the flash, flattened by the hurricane-like blast, burned in 4,000-degree Celsius heat, and contaminated by the radiation of one atomic bomb,” she said in 2014.
After moving to Canada, Setsuko and her husband were active in various peace and disarmament organizations. In 1974, she established Hiroshima-Nagasaki Relived, a group that reminds people of the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through photos and stories. She has travelled to dozens of countries to share her story of survival and alert people to the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to all humanity.
Setsuko says, “hibakusha (survivors of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) are convinced that no human being should ever have to repeat our experience of the inhumane, immoral, and cruel atomic bombing.”
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.