The organizer of the National Hour of Prayer for the unborn in the U.S. is enthusiastic about the success of this first-time effort.
Rev. Johnny Hunter, National Director of the Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), encouraged U.S. blacks to go to the nearest abortion clinic May 11 for an hour of prayer in defence of the unborn.
Although it’s difficult to measure the impact of this kind of activity, Hunter believes the prayer hour was a success. “Our presence prevented at least three abortions at a Virginia Beach abortion clinic and led to the one-day shutdown of a clinic in Melbourne, Florida,” Hunter told The Interim.
He said the prayer hour also took hold in South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey and other U.S. states. He was gratified to see a number of young adult groups taking part in the prayer hour.
Canadian blacks were invited to take part in the May 11 prayer hour, but Hunter had no knowledge of the extent of Canadian participation.
LEARN is a Virginia-based organization working to spread a pro-life message among blacks and other minority groups in the U.S. The prayer effort is based on the spiritual principles which guided civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1960s.
“This was the first effort of its kind for some of the pastors, and they were a little tentative as a result,” Hunter said. “We’re hoping to encourage entire congregations to come out for the next prayer vigil.”
It is especially important for black Americans to consider the pro-life message due to the heavy toll abortion exacts among minorities, Hunter said. Statistics show blacks make up just over 12 per cent of the U.S. population, yet they account for about 30 per cent of abortions.
Hunter said there is a growing network of pro-life groups among black Americans, with representation in several states. He said LEARN has scheduled a meeting July 31-August 3 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to make plans for a second national hour of prayer.
Hunter said the May 11 event was not widely promoted in order to minimize “opposition.” The next prayer hour will be better publicized, Hunter said, through a press conference and through supportive organizations such as the African0American Life Alliance.
May 11 also marked the date of the World Day for Life, as international pro-life prayer and effort in Canada, France, Norway, England and other countries. The World Day for Life is an effort to show the unity of pro-life efforts in different countries throughout the world. It was initiated in 1990, but took on greater urgency after United Nations conferences in Cairo and Beijing. Both of these conferences pursued agendas containing a number of anti-family, anti-population elements.
Jean-Bernard Grenouilleau, executive director for the World Day For Life in France, said international pro-life solidarity “aims to raise the consciousness of our contemporaries who so promptly denounce the genocides of the past and yet are so blind to those of the present.”
Meanwhile, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) scheduled June 2 as a day of prayer under the theme “Lord, Hear Our Land.”
The EFC general council called on pastors and church leaders across the country to encourage group and individual prayer to heal economic, social, moral and political divisions.