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NSKK NEWSLETTER distributed by
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai
(Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate
Photo No. : P071015-1
Click for enlarged photo

Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams
Photo No. : P071015-2
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Photo No. : P071015-3
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Hiroshima International Conference for Peace -
Helping Hands of Compassion from Hiroshima
The Rt Revd Andrew Yutaka Nakamura, Bishop of Kobe Diocese
 
JAPAN 071015-2
October 15, 2007

NSKK Newsletter September 07

[The Nippon Sei Ko Kai - Japan] The International Peace Conference was held in Hiroshima from November 1st to 2nd, 2006. The purpose of this conference was to devote prayers for peace, and three Nobel Peace Prize recipients were invited.

The three Nobel Peace Laureates were the Most Revd Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, 14th head of a Buddhist sect, and Ms Betty Williams. The aim of the conference was to gather together all Christians, Buddhists and Muslims without religious restrictions and to work to resolve the problems occurring all over the world, including war and conflicts, poverty and starvation and all diseases. All participants were devoted to finding solutions to these problems. The conference was held at the Peace Memorial Chapel in a Roman Catholic Church.

Archbishop Tutu appealed in the Prayer for Peace as follows:

"Is there any difference among the tear of a yellow-skinned mother who lost her child for some reason and is stunned, or a white-skinned mother whose beloved child was victimised in the Northern Ireland Conflict, or a black-skinned mother whose child died because of HIV AIDS which has spread in Africa or because of poverty?

"If the skin colour is different, is the depth of a mother's sorrow different? It would be the same tear of sorrow as a human created equally by God. At the same time, the tear is God's sorrow for the sins of human beings.

"However, why should we have the prejudice or discrimination against skin colour or differences of region or environment? To eradicate all these human thoughts is the first step to World Peace."

This created a deep compassion in the more than 1,000 participants.

Prayers were offered by Shomyo chanting of Tibet Buddhist head Temple priests, Gregorian Chants by high school students of Notre Dame Pure Heart school and Buddhist Praise by Jodo Shinshu choir. All prayers were asking for peace. Muslims joined in the Prayer Chain from outside of the chapel.

Ms Betty Williams had encountered the unexpected deaths of three children during the Northern Ireland Conflict. That made her stand up and take action to save children left in extremely miserable conditions. A mother who lost her child as a result of the conflict in Belfast, Ireland told Ms. Williams that "It was much better for me than for a mother of a wrongdoer, because I don't know how much a mother of wrongdoer has to suffer from a violent action of her son."

Archbishop Tutu had struggled for the abolition of racial prejudice. After the abolition was enacted, he was installed as the Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to achieve reconciliation between Black and White. Archbishop Tutu talked about Hibakushas in Hiroshima. "When the atomic bomb was dropped 61 years ago, thousands of people were killed and many others are still suffering. But in the midst of these sufferings Hibakusha and their families have looked with forgiveness toward their enemy, the perpetrator. Their attitude of "forgiveness rather than retaliation" would be the most valuable in actualization of peace.

"People in Hiroshima experienced suffering that makes them worthy as good neighbours as Christ has done for us. They could carry a heavy load together and endure with people all over the world, even though their sufferings are different.

"I wish the people in Hiroshima could extend their helping hands with compassion to those in trouble with difficulties," Archbishop Tutu appealed to the audience.

Wherever we were born, in any place in the world, whoever our parents are and whatever our circumstance, all these are the will of God our Creator. The diversity of religion would be the same, as well as these differences.

However, the awareness of human dignity and mutual respect is the great key needed to practice true Peace in the world. That was what we learned from Hiroshima International Conference for Peace 2006.