Christians Stand for Purity on Valentine's Day

Teens, churches and Christian organizations are sending an alternative message of abstinence and purity on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day.

Across the country, youths will make a public stand on their commitment to remain sexually pure until they are married on the Day of Purity, an annual event that coincides with Valentine's Day. This is the fifth annual Day of Purity for youth.

"Students are sending a message to their friends, parents, churches, communities, legislators and the media that it's time for a positive change in the culture," said Rena Lindevaldsen, coordinator of the Day of Purity, to

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Hundreds of participants in the national counter-culture campaign will take part in various activities to promote saving sex until marriage. Activities include wearing a "Day of Purity" T-shirt and wristband, handing out flyers about sexual purity, and visiting government officials to encourage them to pass a proclamation or resolution supporting the Day of Purity.

"We live in a culture hostile to traditional values which has produced shocking statistics on the state of our youth," said a statement on the Day of Purity Web site. "The Day of Purity is a day on which students can make a public demonstration of their commitment to remain sexually pure, in mind and actions."

Each day, some 8,000 American teens are infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to the Day of Purity Web site. Moreover, two-thirds of the 10 million new cases of STD's this year will be among the 14-25 years old age group.

Early sexual experience will result in more than 1 million teenage girls becoming pregnant this year. From this group, many will choose to have an abortion. Some 20 percent of the 1.3 to 1.5 million abortions in America each year are performed on teenagers.

In addition to the Day of Purity, the abstinence until marriage program True Love Waits and Holman Bible Outreach – both divisions of LifeWay Christian Resources – will release their True Love Waits New Testament on Valentine's Day.

"As the Baptist Bible society, we are very excited about partnering with True Love Waits in producing this New Testament, which not only will help young people keep their commitments to remain abstinent until marriage, but also will provide spiritual guidance for a variety of challenges they face each day," said Phill Burgess, executive director of Holman Bible Outreach, in a statement.

The TLW New Testament will be released as many True Love Waits' abstinence-until-marriage commitment ceremonies will be held in churches and other places around the world.

LifeWay will donate 100,000 copies of the new TLW New Testament to be distributed throughout Africa in places where the ministry's staff is in place. Another 30,000 copies will be sold in the United States to churches, youth groups and individuals.

"Having a New Testament available to compliment our abstinence message in Africa, a place that has been ravaged by AIDS, gives us an added dimension," noted Jimmy Hester, cofounder of True Love Waits. "For some young people in Africa, this may be the only New Testament they ever receive and may be the only opportunity to engage God's Word."

True Love Waits is a biblically based initiative that challenges young people to make a commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage. More than 100 organizations and thousands of churches have adopted the use of True Love Waits throughout the world.

The first True Love Waits national celebration took place in July 1994, when more than 210,000 covenant cards were displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, an estimated 2.5 to 3 million youth have signed commitment cards pledging sexual purity until their wedding day.

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