The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission along with Focus on the Family will host a pro-life conference in Washington D.C. that will overlap with the March for Life rally on the National Mall to encourage more Evangelicals to join thousands of Catholics in standing up for the dignity of the unborn.
ERLC President Russell Moore and Focus on the Family President Jim Daly hosted a press Wednesday to announce the upcoming Evangelicals for Life conference that will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency in Washington on Jan. 21-22.
The conference, which will be attended by hundreds and viewed by thousands watching live stream from their own churches, will feature over 20 Evangelical and pro-life speakers including Moore, Daly, Pastor David Platt, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and March for Life President Jeanne Mancini. The event will cover an array of abortion-related topics, such as the Center for Medical Progress' undercover Planned Parenthood videos that were released last summer, along with adoption, foster care, disability care and international human dignity issues.
With the annual March for Life rally beginning around noon on Jan. 22 on the National Mall, Daly asserted during the press call attended by The Christian Post that he is hopeful that this conference will help encourage more Evangelicals to attend the March for Life rally, an event that is mostly attended by Catholics.
"The Catholic community has been the ones to go to the March for Life and participate on the mall, listen to the speakers, to galvanize annually the support for life," Daly said. "Evangelicals have read about it in the newspaper and heard about it in the news, but I don't think that we have shown that kind of commitment to come together in a location where people can add their voice to the other voices talking about the life movement."
"When you look at a country that has roughly 323 million people and I think most of the survey data suggest somewhere between 90 to 100 million check-the-box Evangelical Christians, that's a big community and it's really a rallying point to get people to recognize that they have an opportunity to be a voice for life and to share with their Catholic brothers and sisters the concern that we all share about this topic," Daly added.
Moore stated that he hopes to see more Evangelical church vans transporting people to the nation's capital for the March for Life this year and years to come.
"When it comes to the March for Life and one finds church vans and church groups and youth groups and campus ministries who all have been coming every year to the March for Life and more and more of them coming, this is what I am hoping for amongst Evangelicals," Moore said. "This is our first year of doing it this way and we want that to increase and continue to where we see more and more First Baptist and Community Presbyterian and Gospel Bible Church vans that are present bringing people to stand in solidarity with the unborn and their moms."
Although Evangelicals don't attend the March for Life at the same rate that Catholics do, Moore explained that Evangelicals are active in the pro-life movement in other ways, either through adoption, orphan care, or ministering to mothers and families in crisis situations.
Moore explained that the conference will give pastors and ministry workers an opportunity to share the work that they are doing to further the pro-life movement. He added that one pastor will share the work he has done in ministering to men suffering from the aftermath of abortion, while another pastor will share how he ministers to pregnant mothers facing a crisis.
"This sense of shared resolve and fellowship, I think, is critically important around this issue," Moore said. "God is doing remarkable things in communities when it comes to standing up for unborn children and their moms. Evangelicals need to be in conversation with all of those different groups. This event helps to put many of them into that context. It also helps to put people together with various things that are happening, even with Evangelicals all over the country."
When asked why Evangelicals haven't participated in the March for Life rally at the same rate as Catholics, Daly and Moore agreed that many are just not aware that the rally occurs every year in January.
"I am so grateful we are partnering together to do this just to raise awareness that the event occurs and that there is a place for them to come and listen to people express their views and be neighbors with each other and share this in common," Daly said. "People don't know that they can come to D.C. and talk with like-minded people about this."