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Evangelicals to Host First-Ever Pro-Life Conference Ahead of 2016 Elections

Pro-life Evangelical leaders are hoping to build upon the success of the annual March for Life by hosting their first-ever pro-life conference in the nation’s capital.

Scheduled to be held Jan. 21-22, the “Evangelicals for Life” event will be hosted by Focus on the Family and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Evangelicals owe “an incalculable debt” to Roman Catholics who created the March for Life, said ERLC President Russell Moore during an on-the-record conference call Tuesday that included Focus on the Family Community Outreach Vice President Kelly Rosati.
“They were there before we were there. They understood the stakes of Roe v. Wade before most Evangelicals did,” Moore said.
“The ability of the March for Life to gather some half a million people to continue to bear witness … to the dignity of every human life is just an extraordinary event,” Rosati added.

“We know so many people who are passionate about the dignity of life, who are grieved by the fact that we have done such a terrible job as a nation respecting the dignity of every human life.”

Moore told The Christian Post that he believes “many Evangelicals are simply unaware” of opportunities like March for Life to campaign on a national scale for the pro-life cause.

“Our Catholic friends have done a very good job of organizing churches and loading up vans full of people to be here in a way that many Evangelicals haven’t,” Moore asserted.

“Evangelicals are very active at the local level on the pro-life issue, manning pregnancy resource centers and ministering in every other sort of way. But we really haven’t made it a priority to get Evangelicals here until now.”

Scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, Evangelicals for Life will feature a host of speakers and talks related to involvement in the pro-life movement.

In addition to Moore and Rosati, other speakers will include Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; David Platt, president of the SBC’s International Mission Board; and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Phillip Bethancourt, executive vice president of the ERLC who moderated the conference call, noted that the event will also feature issues related to human trafficking and elderly care, which are seen as part of a more “comprehensive” pro-life worldview.

With Evangelicals for Life set to take place at the beginning of an election year, Moore told CP that politics “will be a crucial part of our pro-life witness” at the event.

“So much of this has to do with the political system and with the responsibility of government to care for the vulnerable,” Moore said. “We believe this is about more than politics. It’s also about culture, it’s about ministry, but it’s not about anything less than politics.”

Rosati added in comments to CP that political activism was going to be part of the event, as “politics leads directly to public policy.”

“The purpose and the aim of public policy needs to be to protect the most vulnerable, and so I think that is another reason why there will be a connection,” she said.

“This won’t be a political event, but we will be equipping people to know how to be a comprehensive pro-life voice where they’re at, which will include politics and policy.”
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelicals-to-host-first-ever-pro-life-conference-ahead-of-2016-elections-148579/#y5b743TxEcbUbVDZ.99

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Hispanic leader: In voting, immigration reform must not trump life

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Samuel Rodriguez, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference warned attendees of the Evangelicals for Life conference, Thursday (Jan. 21) in Washington D.C., against separating their responsibly to God and nation by voting one way and preaching another, saying that consistency is crucial to steering the cultural landscape in America toward a greater respect for life.

“We must rise up!” Rodriguez said, adding that he will not approach the voting both based on the color of his skin. “I am not first and foremost black, white, yellow, brown, Hispanic, charismatic or automatic. I am a Christian. I am a Christian above everything else, and when I approach that voting booth, I must approach that voting booth understanding that my vote has consequences, and I can’t differentiate or distinguish. I cannot create a schism between what I vote and what I preach and what I believe. There must be continuity, and that’s what we call integrity.”

“I am committed not only to seeing the emergence of the staunchest pro-life demographic in America, but I am likewise committed to building a compassionate, Christ-centered, Bible-based pro-life firewall.”—Samuel Rodriguez, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
In speaking directly to his Latino brothers and sisters, Rodriguez said voting for someone with an appealing position on immigration reform must not trump voting for someone who will commit to protect life.

“Indeed, immigration has a legitimate space to occupy as it pertains to the conversations, as long as it’s not amnesty or illegal immigration—we need to stop that,” Rodriguez said. “But whatever we’re advocating for, it shouldn’t trump life. We must begin with life!”

Silence is not an option, Rodriguez said.

“Now let me explain what that means, and this may be politically incorrect. I am committed not only to seeing the emergence of the staunchest pro-life demographic in America, but I am likewise committed to building a compassionate, Christ-centered, Bible-based pro-life firewall, understanding the following: That today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. That we are what we tolerate. That there is no such thing as comfortably Christianity. And that truth and love and life must never be sacrificed on the altar of political, cultural or sexual expedience.

“There has to be continuity and consistency,” Rodriguez said. “If we preach pro-life on Sunday, we cannot support a candidate that advocates abortion on Tuesday.”

Rodriguez, who made a specific note that he spoke only for himself and not on behalf of conference organizers, received enthusiastic applause and affirmation from the crowd throughout his time on stage.

Original article can be read here: http://texanonline.net/archives/5222/#.VqRegJeVdgQ.mailto

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