Quaker Peace and Social Witness and RfPUK

Launch of the United Kingdom Women of Faith Network in the House of Lords
March 20, 2016
April 5, 2016

‘A Noiseless Flash’ – a rare chance to hear first hand the testimony of Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow

12 May 2016, Friends House, Euston Road, London, 7.30 pm.

Quaker Peace & Disarmament and Religions for Peace UK are delighted to announce that Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima, will speak about her experience and answer questions in London, 12 May 2016 at Friends House.

She will also talk about how she has been inspired by the humanitarian initiative reframing the issue of nuclear weapons from deterrence to their humanitarian consequences and the strong push this gives a nuclear Ban Treaty.

Setsuko says, “How much longer can we allow the Nuclear Weapon States to wield this threat to all life on earth? The time has come for action to establish a legally binding framework to ban nuclear weapons as a first step in their total abolition.”

Setsuko was a 13 year-old student on August 6th 1945, working for the military in Hiroshima to decode secret messages. At 8:15 that morning she recalls being given a pep-talk by an Army General when a bluish white flash filled the room, and she remembers the sensation of floating in the air.

Of the population of 360,000, most of them non-combatant, women, children, and elderly, some 140,000 died by the end of 1945 and the eventual total was 260,000.

She married James Thurlow in the 1950s and settled in Canada where she dedicated her life to working for nuclear disarmament. She has been recognised by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, named Peace Ambassador by Hiroshima City and is the recipient of the Order of Canada Medal, the highest honour for Canadian civilians. In 2015, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2016 she was named Arms Control Person of the Year.

“The truth is, we all live with the daily threat of nuclear weapons. In every silo, on every submarine, in the bomb bays of airplanes, every second of every day, nuclear weapons, thousands on high alert, are poised for deployment threatening everyone we love and everything we hold dear.”

Tim Wallis, Manager, Peace and Disarmament at Quaker Peace & Social Witness added, ‘Quakers have long opposed nuclear weapons and to rely on the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent is faithless: to use them is a sin”.

Speaking for Religions for Peace UK, Executive Director Jehangir Sarosh that “Religious and faith-based communities have a responsibility to inform themselves and others and to take action to address this existential threat to humanity, the environment and civilisation itself.”

To register your interest as spaces are limited, e-mail:
Stephen Herman, Director of Multi-faith Committee for Shared Security, RfPUK at


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