AS PEOPLE around the world prepare to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Christians in the UK will be joining an online vigil to mark the occasion.

The nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945) killed hundreds of thousands of people and left countless others living with the effects, many of which continue today. Those who survived the bombings, known as Hibakusha, have been leading campaigners for nuclear disarmament for nearly eight decades.

This year, the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship will come together on the evening on Sunday 6 August for an online vigil including prayers, reflections and songs. While the evening will include prayers for the victims and survivors, it will also look forward with hope towards a world without nuclear weapons.

The vigil will include a message from the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry. In it he described the bombing of Hiroshima as “cataclysmic event which caused such terrible loss of life”, adding that the event “has cast a terrible shadow over humanity ever since”.

Bridget Tiller, Christian CND Co-Chair, said: “Remembering Hiroshima is always a moving event. This year there is added poignancy as the war continues in Ukraine, with the increased risk of nuclear weapons being used again. We hope this time of reflection will be a chance to rededicate ourselves to the cause of peace”.

Sue Claydon, Anglican Pacifist Fellowship Chair, said: “While everyone is aware of the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the reality of the loss of life and suffering caused is hard to fully grasp. We are grateful for the support of Bishop Christopher Cocksworth who has been a steadfast supporter of peace and disarmament. We hope that this vigil will be a chance for others to reflect on the need for a peaceful future.”

* The vigil will start at 8pm on Sunday 6 August. The link for the free Zoom registration is here.

* There will be other events taking place around the UK to commemoration the anniversary: full information can be found here.

* Source: Christian CND