Thursday, 11. March 2021

Fukushima: Ten Years After

Intercession on the anniversary of the triple disaster in Japan

The Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) remembers the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor ten years ago and calls for prayer for the people affected.

On 11 March 2011, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded shook the coast of Japan, causing the release of large amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The impacts of the quake, the tsunami that followed and the reactor explosion affected large parts of the country beyond the Fukushima prefecture. Not only were houses permanently destroyed for hundreds of kilometres along the Pacific coast, seawater also rendered the agricultural land useless for many years to come. Wide areas were contaminated by radioactive fallout. Japan has not completely recovered from this, even ten years after.

To this day, the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe is still an ongoing part of the work of the United Church of Christ in Japan (KYODAN). The Japanese member church of the EMS takes a conscious stand on social issues and speaks out against the use of nuclear energy. The EMS has long supported the commitment of KYODAN regarding discrimination of the Buraku and helps to fund church ministry in the region’s prisons.

“Partnerships with our brothers and sisters all over the world also lives from prayer for one another,” says Dr Dieter Heidtmann, General Secretary of the EMS. “Therefore, we kindly ask you to pray the following intercession of the East Asia Advisory Committee of the Berlin Mission so that we too remain connected in difficult times.”


10th Anniversary of the triple disaster in Japan – 11 March 2021

We come to you, God.
We come to you with our petitions.
You promised to hear us.
The 11th March marks the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster in Japan: an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima.
As people living in Germany, we feel closely connected to the people in Japan.
In Christ we belong together and together in heart and spirit we pray to you.
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

The images of destruction and despair still haunt our memory of 11 March 2011.
We bring before you the people of Japan
who mourn their dead,
who miss their loved ones,
who have lost everything,
who are plagued by the trauma of the event,
who still live in temporary accommodation or have been forced to leave their home region for ever.
We pray for the people in the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate.
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

In the last 10 years, many villages and institutions such as schools, day-care centres, hospitals and churches that were badly hit or destroyed by the quake and tsunami have been rebuilt, also with international aid.
This gives the people there courage and hope because they also see your work, God.
We thank you for that!
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

But the suffering in the disaster area is still continuing.
An entire region has become permanently uninhabitable because of radioactivity.
The soils are contaminated, the infrastructure has been destroyed and the people have lost their livelihoods.
The fear of another accident in one of the nuclear power plants is great.
There are repeated leaks of cooling water into the sea from the nuclear power plant that was damaged ten years ago.
Earthquakes continuously hit this region and people are very afraid.
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

It was a natural disaster but we are not innocent of the devastating consequences.
In this time of Lent, we beseech you, guide us to realise that we have lived and are living beyond our limits by allowing ourselves luxuries that exploit nature and the environment.
We are living at the expense of the weak. We beseech you, show us how we can be satisfied to live a life that uses resources responsibly and sustainably.
We pray for people who take on the commitment and dedication to achieve this. Who do not relent
from admonishing and raising their voices - on the streets, in parliaments and in public. Here in this country and especially in Japan.
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

We need a total renunciation of nuclear energy all over the world!
We beseech you on behalf of those responsible in politics and society that they make the right decisions and do not submit to the pressure of economic success and corporate greed for profit.
We call upon you: Lord, have mercy!

Merciful Father in heaven, let our prayer be heard,
for our souls are troubled. We need your mercy.
Even if we are blind to see, we trust that you are with us even in adversity.
You remain our Saviour.
In the name of Christ who was crucified and resurrected.

Intercession from the East Asia Advisory Committee in the Berlin Mission

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