image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply
image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply
image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply



To equip the Orthodox Christian community to strengthen its commitment to the sacredness of human life from conception to death, illuminating the Church's teaching on life issues through education and engagement.




For every Orthodox Christian to learn and embrace an Orthodox pro-life ethic.



  • That every Orthodox Christian will learn and embrace our Church's teaching that each human life is precious from the moment it is conceived.

  • That through the formation of life-affirming parish ministries, Orthodox Christians tempted by abortion or assisted suicide will not keep their struggles a secret for fear of being condemned, but rather know they will be received with open arms and a loving support system.

  • That our seminarians and clergy will be equipped to handle pastoral challenges related to pregnancy, abortion, and end-of-life situations that arise in their parishes.

  • That Orthodox Christians wounded by abortion will be encouraged to find forgiveness and restoration to communion with God and the Church through the Sacrament of Confession, as well as further healing through post-abortion recovery programs.

  • That by incorporating prayer, education, and service for the sanctity of life into the existing ministries and spiritual life of our dioceses and parishes, the faithful will be brought into greater communion with Christ and each other.

  • That Orthodox Christians will be inspired toward participation and leadership in the pro-life movement.

  • That by cultivating an awareness of the life-affirming teachings of the Church, non-Orthodox will be drawn to the truth of our ancient faith.
image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply
image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply
image courtesy of Uncut Mountain Supply


Our Roots

Orthodox Christians for Life ("OCLife") was originally founded in 1986 by the Rev. Father Edward Pehanich, the late Rev. Deacon John Protopapas, and his wife, Matushka Valerie Protopapas, a prolific writer on sanctity of life issues.

The Orthodox Church has never wavered in its teaching that human life is sacred from the moment of conception, being made in the Image and Likeness of God, and that abortion is a grave assault against both mother and child. However, the original founders of OCLife identified a significant lack in understanding and acceptance of the Church’s teaching within Orthodox communities in the United States. ​

OCLife was an active and successful grassroots effort for many years. Among other activities, OCLife produced various educational publications and newsletters; helped to establish regional groups around the country; encouraged Orthodox participation in the March for Life in Washington, D.C.; and was instrumental in the coordination and creation of an Amicus Curiae Brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in 1989 in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Webster, supporting the State of Missouri in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Unfortunately, over time, the founders were unable to continue their work, and the organization fell dormant by the early 2000's.

A New Beginning

Recognizing the important work accomplished by the original founders and the need for its mission to continue, an effort emerged in 2019 to revive the organization, with nonprofit status being obtained on April 1, 2020 and the organization officially re-launched in November 2020.

We have ambitious plans for impacting the Orthodox community: we will strive to engage hearts and minds at all levels of Christian life, from our Sunday school classrooms to our seminaries. We will cultivate an Orthodox Christian pro-life ethic that incorporates prayer, education, and service into the existing ministries of our church communities. In collaboration with clergy and lay leaders, OCLife will produce pastoral resources, create sanctity of life educational curriculum, establish parish-based pro-life ministries, develop an Orthodox post-abortion recovery program, and further offer opportunities to strengthen the Orthodox community’s commitment to the sanctity of life.

As we renew its mission, we pray that Orthodox Christians for Life will bear fruit to the glory of God.