Girl in iconic Viet War photo learns to forgive oppressors through Jesus

Kim Phuc, the crying little girl who was photographed running naked away from an attack during the Vietnam War way back in 1972, has learned to forgive her oppressors through Jesus Christ, and is now using all of her time and resources to campaign for peace around the world.

Phuc now works as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and helps fellow victims of war from around the world. Looking at the picture taken by Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut, whom she has established a strong friendship over the years, Phuc feels nothing but hope and blessedness.

"When I look at the image I'm just amazed that I'm still alive, I'm so grateful and thankful for that," Phuc told the Mirror UK. "I have learned from tragedy, from the pain, from the challenges, and I'm so grateful to be healed."

Phuc admitted that she did not originally like the photo taken of her, but she learned how to accept it eventually. "I'm a girl, so of course when I first saw it I didn't like it," she said. "I said 'why he take that picture I look ugly, why am I naked?'" But now she considers the photo as a "powerful gift."

According to Paula Newton and Thom Patterson of CNN, Phuc now lives in Toronto with her husband and children. Because of the war, she suffered through several skin grafts and surgeries. Phuc recovered from the horrors of war only when she became a Christian at 19 years old.

"When I became Christian, I have a wonderful connection—the relationship between me, and Jesus, and God," Phuc said. "And from that point, I learned to forgive."

"I really want to thank God that he spared my life when I was a little girl," she added. "Whatever happened to me, I have another opportunity to be alive, to be healthful, to be a blessing, to help honour other people."

Through the Kim Foundation International, Phuc is aiding children victimised by war by building hospitals, schools and homes for them.