日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

Ringing the Alarm Bell to Churches Worldwide—Experiences and Insights from East Japan


by Ulrike Schmidt-Hesse, EMS deputy general secretary

Head of Mission and Partnership Department, Stuttgart,Germany


I am most grateful to Kyodan for organizing the March 11-14 conference “Against the Myth of the Safety of Nuclear Energy,” and I am grateful that the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) was invited to participate. It was a moving experience to get together as Christians from Japan and from other countries, to pray jointly at the memorial service on March 11, and to listen to the sermon about the darkness and silence that survivors experienced after the earthquake and tsunami, which was in vast contrast to “normal” modern life, and their longing for a word—a word of life, and for light—a light of hope.


I was deeply impressed at the conference by the reports from students, men and women, lay persons and pastors, who have been working with and for the survivors of the disaster for three years, as well as by the speeches on political, theological, and other dimensions of our theme from Japan and from other countries. I learned a lot about the system of sacrifice, about the kairos for repentance and new direction, about radiation information and “foot washing,” about the need for reliable information and space for critical discussion; and I got to know many persons with compassion, commitment and courage. Working with the statement committee was a challenging experience for which I am most grateful.


As a group of persons from the Kyodan and several other countries and churches, we underwent an intense process in terms of theology and spirituality and intercultural communication. It was good to see that our text was appreciated and well received by the plenary. The statement—along with the reports and speeches from the conference as well as personal reports from participants—is a good instrument to help ring the alarm bell to the churches around the world.


In my view, the objective of the conference to reflect together on the problems of nuclear power generation and the efforts to solve them in different countries, has been fulfilled. The important task now is to share our common insights with the churches of the world. EMS as an institution and I personally are most willing to contribute to this. Many churches in the EMS Fellowship are located in countries where nuclear energy is used and produced, such as India and Korea. In other countries, such as Ghana, the government is considering the introduction of nuclear power generation. There are countries like Germany where, after the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi, the government has decided to abolish nuclear energy; yet in the meantime, the voices of those who want to prolong the use of nuclear energy are being raised again. All of us need alarm bells to keep warning us about the danger of nuclear energy and reminding us to develop a civilization without nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. It is important for the churches to learn to deal with controversies, to promote critical discussion, to become agents of change in our societies, and to build a global solidarity network. I hope that the worldwide ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches will amplify the sound of the bell from Japan.


The visits after the conference to the memorial sites in Ishinomaki and the nuclear power plant in Onagawa, as well as the encounters with survivors of the disaster and with persons protesting the use of nuclear power, will remain in my heart and mind. Let us be missionaries of life; let us walk together.


世界の教会に警鐘を鳴らす・・東日本での経験 と洞察

私はEMS(福音連帯宣教会)を代表して311日から14日 まで日本基督教団が主催した、「原子力エネルギーの安全神話に抗して」と題した国際会議に参加する機会が与えられたことを深く感謝いたし ます。最初のプログラムである記念礼拝では、日本のみならず各国から集ったキリスト者と共に祈り、説教においては以前の平穏な生活を一変 させた地震と津波の経験を通し、被災者が闇と静寂の中にあって「命の言葉」「光としての言葉」を生きる希望としていかに望んでいるのかを 教えられ感銘を受けました。会議では、日本や他の国々の方々の政治的、神学的及び多くの視点からの講演と同時に、三年間に亘って被災者方 と共に、また彼らの為に、活動している男女の学生、一般信徒、牧師達の報告に深い感銘を受けました。私が今回、特に犠牲のシステム、悔い 改めと新たな方向への「神の時」、確かな情報の共有と忌憚のない協議の場(洗い場)が必要であることを学び、同時に思いやりと責任感のあ る、又勇気のある多くの人達を知りました。

共同声明委員会(statement committee)での仕事は最も感謝に満ちた興味のある経験でした。(私達は)、教団や(幾つかの)他の国々の、 教会の人達と一団となり、神学的、霊的、異文化交流の面においても強烈な変容の過程を互いに体験したのでした。

共同声明は-出席者個人の報告と共に会議の報告と講演と同様-世界の教会に対 して警鐘を鳴らす良い手段です。私の見たところ、異なる国々に於ける原子力発電の諸問題とそれらの問題解決の為の努力を共に見直すという 目的は達成されました。今大切な事は、世界の教会で我々共通の洞察を共有する事にあります。EMSという一つの組織としてそして私個人と して此の事に貢献したいと思います。インドや韓国の様に原子力が利用され生産されている国々に住み働いている多くのEMSフェローシップ がいます。その他にも例えばガーナの様に政府が原子力発電の導入を検討している国々も有ります。ドイツの様に-福島第一原発事故の後-一 方では未だ原子力エネルギーの利用を引き延ばそうとする声が再び出てはいるものの、政府が原子力エネルギーの廃止を決定した国々も有りま す。我々全ては原子力エネルギーの危険性について警告をし、原子力兵器やエネルギーの無い文明をつくり出す事を思い起させ続ける警鐘が必 要です。

教会にとって論争と向き合う事、大切な議論を展開させる事を学ぶ事、私達の社 会の中で変革の起爆剤になる事、そしてグローバルな連帯のネットワークを築く事が大切です。私は世界規模での世界教会運動やWCCが日本 から鐘の音を響かせる事を望んでいます。

会議の後の石巻の被災地や女川原子力発電所の訪問、災害から助かった人達や原 子力に反対する人達との出会いは私の心と記憶に残るでしょう。命の伝道者とさせて下さい、共に歩ませて下さい

牧師 ウルライク シュミット-ハッセ

Head of Mission and Partnership Department

Deputy General Secretary EMS, シュットガルト/ドイツ
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