Pope Francis pleads for the abolition of nuclear weapons during his visit to bombed Japanese cities
Pope Francis , a passionate anti-nuclear activist, carries his message that nuclear weapons should be abolished in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the two Japanese cities devastated by the atomic bombings of the Second World War and the only places in the world to suffer.
Francis, who arrived in Japan on Saturday night, for a four-day visit, called in the past for a total ban on nuclear weapons, even for deterrence purposes.
During his stay in Japan, he will also meet the survivors of the Fukushima nuclear fusion, on March 11, 2011, the worst nuclear accident in the world since Chernobyl, which was caused by an earthquake and tsunami.
Francis, the first pope to visit Japan in 38 years, began his journey by telling the Tokyo Bishops his dreams of missionary youth in Japan and finally explained to them how they came true.
“Since I was young, I feel affection and affection for these lands,” he said, adding that it had been 470 years since Saint Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits, arrived in Japan to initiate the spread of Christianity.
In Nagasaki, a green hilly port city that has long been a center of Japanese Catholicism, Francis will begin the most moving day of his trip Sunday to the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park.
He will lay flowers, light a candle and keep a moment of silence in memory of the thousands of people who lost their lives.
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Later on Sunday, Francis will visit a monument to martyred people during the 250 years of banning Christianity in Japan, forcing believers to hide and suffer death.
“Hidden Christians” have mixed Christianity with Buddhism and Shinto indigenous beliefs to enable them to survive, and Francis may encounter several members of the aging and dwindling population later.
An afternoon Mass, preceded by prayers for victims of atomic bombs, is the latest event in the city before Francis travels to Hiroshima, destroyed by the “Little Boy” atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.