Pope Francis speaks by the cenotaph in memory of those killed in the 1945 atomic bombing during the meeting for peace at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Nov. 24, 2019. (Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)
When the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) arrived this year, four of the five nations that have not become a party to it were in Asia.
Some 190 nations are party to the NPT but India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan have yet to sign the treaty along with South Sudan. Religions, all of them standing for peace, play a major role in pushing these Asian nations to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Israel maintains nuclear power to deter neighboring Arab states, atheist North Korea often tests nuclear weapons fearing a religious South, Islamic Pakistan has its nuclear arsenal full, citing a Hindu India, which blames a communist China, which in turn cites a capitalist US government's defense ties with Japan and Taiwan for advancing its nuclear inventory.