A nationwide prayer vigil by pro-life activists in Canada called “Life Chain” is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 200 locations throughout the country despite COVID-19 shutdown complications.
The annual Life Chain observance is overseen by the pro-life group the Campaign Life Coalition and those involved will pray as a group for an end to abortion at given local intersections while some will hold signs with messages that read: "Abortion kills children” and "Jesus heals & forgives."
Josie Luetke, the youth coordinator with the Campaign Life Coalition and a Life Chain Canada committee member, told The Christian Post that it was “our duty to bring attention to” the “injustice” of abortion.
“The most commonly used Life Chain sign bears the message ‘Abortion kills children,’ and that's what we're hoping people take away from the event,” said Luetke.
“No matter what crazy things are going on in the world, we can't forget that currently, across North America, thousands of innocent preborn children are being killed through abortion.”
Luetke explained that last year saw around 250 cities participating, which was higher than the number this year, due in part to complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Last year, there were over 250 Canadian Life Chains from coast to coast, about a third of which, mainly those in the Toronto and Ottawa areas, were directly organized by Campaign Life Coalition,” she explained.
“We will still see over 200 Life Chains this year, but we are contending with some last-minute cancellations and location changes.”
Luetke gave a conservative estimate of around 15,000 people participating in the 2019 Life Chain, with the expectation that fewer will be involved this year.
“The event will be fairly similar to that of previous years, with participants spaced out and praying silently, but there will be additional COVID-19 safety measures in place, like hand sanitizer and mask usage if necessary,” she said.
“We'll also be abiding by social gathering limits, which, in Ontario for instance, means separating groups of 25 by a couple of blocks or so.”
“Even with the complications associated with COVID-19, I imagine we could hit 10,000 participants this weekend.”
In addition to following local restrictions on mass gatherings, campaign organizers are also discouraging participants from taking group photos and suggesting they film demonstrations to show “compliance to COVID-19 protocols if need be.”
“The COVID-19 shutdown rules haven't prevented us from holding Life Chain, but we have developed extensive guidelines for organizers to ensure everyone's safety,” continued Luetke.
“Life Chain is a very low-risk event and other much riskier protests and demonstrations have gone unhindered. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even attended one such protest. Ultimately, we have a constitutionally-protected right to protest, which ought to be respected.”
Life Chain was first observed in Canada back in 1990, having been inspired by a similar observance in the United States. It is generally held each year on the first Sunday of October.
Canada among a small number of countries that allows for elective late-term abortions and Trudeau has championed state-funding for abortion.