Praying for an End to Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations opened a month-long conference in New York this week to review ways to contain the spread of nuclear weapons. Prior to the conference, leaders from several religious traditions gathered at an interfaith chapel across from the UN to pray for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others offered prayers, chants, songs, and special readings. Watch excerpts of the service, where some of the participants included Buddhist peace activists; Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, Japan, a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing, who brought a scorched piece of a statue of Mary from the cathedral that was destroyed in the attack; a Shinto chant leader; Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; a Native American prayer-song leader; Buddhist and Muslim readers; and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.


  • Mark Johnson

    Deeply appreciate lifting up this feature of the gathering at the United Nations this month of Nongovernmental Organizations, including a large range of faith communities, on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review. A very effective capture from the hour long service.

  • Rosemarie Pace

    Thank you very much for this coverage of a most beautiful interfaith service for a most critical need: the abolition of nuclear weapons. You captured the spirit and diversity well in a short excerpt of the full convocation.

  • eileenfleming

    Prayer is best understood as being in the moment, sharing love and opening to transcendence and not petitioning a big daddy in the sky to be our errand boy and fulfill our desires.

    “Prayer is also the struggle for human justice. It is the fight to remove killing stereotypes, to hurl back ignorance of prejudice, and to protect the holiness of creation. Prayer is the corporate, political act that serves to equalize opportunity so that privileged and underprivileged might have the same chance.” -Bishop John Shelly Spong, “WHY CHRISTIANITY MUST CHANGE OR DIE” page 147.

    Thomas Merton, 20th century Trappist monk poet, social critic and mystic warned Christians that,”The duty of the Christian at this time is to do the one task God has imposed upon us in this world today. The task is to work for the total abolition of war. There can be no question that unless war is abolished; the world will remain constantly in a state of madness. The church [meaning all Christians] must lead the way on the road to the abolition of war. Peace is to be preached and nonviolence is to be explained and practiced.”

  • John Bostrom

    Thank your for coverage of the NPT Review conference unlike anything else offered the American public. Way back in 1961, as a 18-year old novice applying to a Roman Catholic religious order, I was ordered under the vow of obedience to go back to the draft board and change my registration from Conscientious Objector to Clerical Exemption – regardless of what my conscience was telling me. So I find it particularly moving to see religious leaders witnessing to true religious principles as they apply to the scourge of war. Such leaders are all too few. Too many so-called religious leaders in our country have long ago sold out any true religious principles for the mess of pottage represented by government-granted tax-exempt status and the approval of the wealthy. It’s not just a violation of the principle of separation of church and state to display the flag of the United States in any house of worship. Given how soaked that flag is with the blood of countless victims of America’s presumedly manifest destiny to rule the world, it’s a sacrilege and an abomination

  • kathleen gladden

    thank you for the coverage. without the witness from FOR online we would not have been able to share in this event. blessings and peace, to you.

  • lidavalia alfred

    Abolition of nuclear weapons??. Thank you for capturing diversity well in a short excerpt of the full convocation God bless the world.

  • keshab prasad chaulagain

    nepal and nepali interreligious groups demand to destroy the nuclear weapons.we had had porformed largest religious yagya to stop the cold year in we appriciate this kind of gathering.

  • Rev. Solomon M. Muin

    May the God of peace hear our many prayers…