Orthodox Christians for Life Rallies Hundreds at March for Life and Walk for Life
RIVERSIDE, CA, JANUARY 2022 - Orthodox Christians for Life organized a strong presence at both the January 21 March for Life in Washington, DC, and the January 22 Walk for Life in San Francisco, CA, with an estimated 250 attendees between both events.
This month marks the 35th year that Orthodox Christians have been gathering at the March for Life, since Orthodox Christians for Life (OCLife) first attended the event in 1987.
While Orthodox participation in the March continued every year after the organization fell dormant nearly two decades ago, OCLife once again took up the reins to organize this year's gathering at the first in-person March since being revived in 2020.
A delegation of twelve hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops attended the March for Life as well as a Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral preceding the event. Archbishop Elpidophoros offered the opening prayer onstage at the March for Life rally.
Prior to the commencement of the March up Constitution Avenue, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon led a sanctity of life prayer service for the Orthodox group, joined by a choir from St. Tikhon's Seminary who also led the singing of hymns during the March.
Mirroring these activities the following day on the west coast, a prayer service was led by local clergy prior to the start of the Walk for Life rally, and the Orthodox group processed through the Walk up Market Street singing hymns and carrying icons.
Since it was not possible to host an in-person gathering for fellowship after either event, OCLife held a Virtual March for Life Reception on Sunday evening to conclude the weekend. Fr. Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Seminary and member of the OCLife Advisory Board who has brought students to the March for Life for many years, gave a prayer and opening remarks. Wesley J. Smith, renowned expert on end-of-life issues and also member of the OCLife Advisory Board, then presented a talk entitled "The Anti-Life Danger of 'Undignified' Bioethics."
While pro-life marches offer an annual opportunity for proclaiming the Church's pro-life beliefs, Orthodox Christians for Life is dedicated to helping the Orthodox community live out these beliefs during the whole year. Through its Parish Ministry Program, OCLife is actively equipping parishes to become faithful and loving advocates for the sanctity of life. For more information or to support Orthodox Christians for Life, see oclife.org.
To see more photos from the March for Life and Walk for Life, visit the OCLife Facebook page.
2022 March for Life
2022 Walk for Life