Pro-life individuals throughout the U.S. and Canada are expected to give witness to life this weekend and honor the millions of lives lost to abortion at the first of two gatherings this year for the annual Life Chain.
The Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful public pro-life witness with prayers intentions for both the nation’s wellbeing and an end to abortion. It takes place each year on the first Sunday of October, which is widely known as Respect Life Sunday.
The Life Chain is “a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death,” according to event information. It lasts 90 minutes.
The pro-life event is held rain or shine and Life Chain 2020 marks 33 years for the gathering.
Due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions the 2020 gathering has two official dates: Sunday, October 4, and Sunday, November 1. Some Life Chains will be held on alternative dates, including Saturday October 3.
As an outdoor event, local Life Chain committees are taking proper safety precautions, organizers said. Participants will stand 20 feet apart, as has been done since the Life Chain began.
The first Life Chain was organized in 1987 by the Yuba City, CA, pro-life ministry Please Let Me Live, according to Life Chain background information.
Numerous local churches lined sections of a three-mile route through sister cities Yuba City-Marysville, with 2,500 Christians holding signs that read, “Abortion Kills Children.”
A subsequent Life Chain in Bakersfield, CA, drew 7,500 participants from 101 churches, with other California cities to follow.
In 1991 National Life Chain Sunday had 373 chains in the U.S. with 771,000 participants, and between 1995 and 1999 there were around 900 Life Chains America and Canada combined.
“While total attendance has declined significantly,” coordinators said, "emphasis on prayer and serious reflection on the current abortion holocaust has increased substantially.”
In 2019 there were some 2,000 Life Chains across the U.S. and Canada.
Organizers attribute an increase in pro-life awareness in part to recent movies focused on the issue, such as “Unplanned” in 2019 and the 2018 “Gosnell” movie.
The Life Chain is built upon God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7, where the Lord told Solomon that if His people humble themselves, pray and turn away from sin, He will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The initiative's mission also holds that God alone has the ultimate power to intervene in the world, and that the task before Christians is to not simply pray, but pray for God’s will to be done.
“This is why, for the past 33 years, Life Chain has sought to lead the body of Christ in repentance and prayer regarding abortion,” the mission statement said. “We exist as a call to the Church–to humble ourselves, pray, seek, and turn.”
Life Chain sign messages now include: "Abortion Kills Children;" "Adoption - the Loving Option;" "Jesus Forgives & Heals;" "Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation;" "Abortion Hurts Women;" "Life - the first Inalienable Right;" "Pray to End Abortion;" "El Aborto Mata Ninos;" "El aborto lastima a las Mujeres;" "Pregnant? Need Help? 1-800-712-HELP;" and more.
“When we gather together, and come before our God,” Life Chain organizers said, “we believe that abortion will end.”
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For a list of Life Chain locations in the U.S. and Canada, click HERE.