- Hiroshima Adventist Academy choir’s YouTube video posted March 8, 2022, of “Still, We Sing Alleluia,” received almost 5,000 views in the first 24 hours.
- The school is located near the site where, 76 years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped.
- “Many people living in Hiroshima have long wished for a peaceful world and have constantly been spreading the wish for peace to the world,” said Satoshi Kitabayashi, Hiroshima Adventist Academy’s principal.
29 March 2022 | The Hiroshima Adventist Academy choir in Japan prayed about the conflict in Ukraine through song.
And the world listened.
Their YouTube video posted March 8, 2022, of “Still, We Sing Alleluia,” received almost 5,000 views in the first 24 hours, reported Adventist News Network. As of this date, the video has nearly 15,000 views.
A sense of poignancy surrounds the performance. The school is located near the site where, 76 years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped, noted Satoshi Kitabayashi, Hiroshima Adventist Academy’s principal. Some 70,000 people were killed instantly by the atomic bomb, and by the end of the year the death toll had surpassed 100,000.
It is something that left tremendous pain, he said. “Many people living in Hiroshima have long wished for a peaceful world and have constantly been spreading the wish for peace to the world.”
Moreover, the song the choir sings, “Still, We Sing Alleluia,” was written by Filipino composer Paulo K. Tiról. Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941 during World War II.
Tiról, however, wrote the song’s music and lyrics at the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns in early 2020. Its opening words are: “Through flowing tears, Alleluia; Through growing fears, Alleluia.”
The song also anticipates the ultimate triumph of God’s love, guaranteed by Jesus. “For the Lord has risen and conquered sin; In Him we know that light, and life, and love shall win,” it proclaims.
These are also profoundly apt words for a moment like this, school officers said.
“We made a music video specifically for the people who are suffering because of the current situation in Ukraine, wishing for it to end soon and to bring them peace,” Kitabayashi said.
The video opens with a message from students and leaders, written in English and Japanese, which reads, “We pray for the current situation in Ukraine. May God be with them in this difficult time and give them peace. We send our prayers through praising.”
The colors of their choir robes are coincidentally similar to the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag,
“We Adventists in Japan are proud of Hiroshima Adventist Academy,” said Yutaka Inada, president of the Japan Union Conference. “They want to do something to show that their heart is with the people suffering and let them know that all students and teachers are praying that the Lord may give peace to them even in this difficult time. Adventist churches in Japan continue to pray for God’s special protection to people who are suffering and are ready [to] support them as much as we can.”
Hiroshima Adventist Academy (Hiroshima Saniku Gakuin) is a co-educational boarding institution of secondary education in Japan. Established in April 1977, the institution comprises a senior high school, junior high school, and elementary school. It is located in Hiroshima prefecture, near the small town of Daiwa.
According to Kitabayashi, the school offers a unique style of student life, partly because it is a boarding institution, with students coming from all over Japan—from Hokkaido to Okinawa—and partly because it remains small enough to retain something of a family atmosphere.
(Photo: The Hiroshima Adventist Academy choir sang “Still, We Sing Alleluia” in support of Ukraine. Their YouTube video performance of the song received almost 5,000 views in the first 24 hours after it was posted on March 8, 2022. Photo via YouTube screenshot.)