On Sunday, Sept. 30th, tens of thousands of people across Canada will participate in or witness the Canadian pro-life movement’s LifeChain event at approximately 200 locations. Some Life Chains will be held Oct. 7 or 13; double-check with your local pro-life group for details.
LifeChain is a North American pro-life event that takes place annually, with a primary focus on praying for an end to abortion. For this one hour of witness, participants are asked to abide by the LifeChain Code of Conduct, which ensures that all interactions (if any) must be peaceful, prayerful, and polite.
Although quiet and non-confrontational, LifeChain participants still make a powerful statement to passers-by with their demonstration. Organizers with Rossland Trail Right to Life Society in British Columbia told The Interimthat pro-lifers continue to participate year after year so that “the public is ‘confronted with the absolute truth that abortion kills children.”
Organizers with Pro-Vie Tri-Town Right to Life in New Liskeard, Ont., say that despite some negative encounters with the public, participants “have the satisfaction of knowing that they tried to have some effect on those who see the signs” and “it is always encouraging when cars honk their horns.”
LifeChain, like other pro-life demonstrations does not always bear immediate fruit, but it is important to note that, regardless of the encounter, it plants a seed in the heart of the witnesses of the demonstration about the inherent value of the unborn.
Pro-life activism and witness can be intimidating, and often those who take part feel vulnerable to public criticism. London Area Right to Life organizers say that “There is strength in numbers for those who might be afraid to come out to pray on their own.” Many past participants contacted by The Interim, said visibility is definitely key in showing people that contrary to popular belief, there is a large number of people who disagrees with the status quo of abortion-on-demand in Canada. LifeChain events usually take place in large or busy intersections to maximize the potential audience for the pro-life message.
LifeChain organizers at Campagne Quebec-Viesay they get congratulated by those who see them and receive a mostly positive response in the areas where they hold the annual witness. LifeChain, they say, “is a declaration of solidarity with the preborn child about praying for one hour and being present with signs such as ‘Abortion kills children’, ‘Jesus forgives and heals’ and ‘Adoption the loving option’.”
LifeChain organizers remind participants to focus on the prayerful aspect of the event with several noting that a key message of the day is that Jesus forgives and heals those who have had abortions or pressured women to have them. Pastors and other congregation leaders are contacted and asked to encourage their congregants to participate in the annual event.