Conference Unites Those Fighting for Life in Europe

Speaker Tells of Efforts to Restore Britain’s Christian Heritage

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By Ann Schneible

ROME, DEC. 22, 2011 ( Against the U.N. declaration that abortion is a fundamental human right, advocates for the rights of unborn children are joining forces from around the world to fight for the right to life. 

Pro-life leaders from around Europe gathered together Dec. 10-11, first to celebrate the bestowal of the «Mother Teresa of Calcutta» life achievement award on the late founder of the lay Catholic Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich, and secondly, to initiate an alliance whereby pro-life leaders from around Europe could unite the pro-life movement within an international arena.

One of the key messages came from Andrew Marsh, campaigns manager for Christian Concern, who emphasized that in order to reawaken the world to the unalienable dignity of all human life, it is essential to restore the Christian principles upon which man’s understanding of true liberty is founded.

«At Christian Concern,» Marsh told ZENIT, «we are passionate about acting to protect the dignity of the human person and speak up for the precious gift of life but we recognize that this is part of a wider challenge that relates to the very foundation of our society.»

Christian Concern is an evangelical organization committed to restoring the Christian culture upon which Britain was founded.

«Both in the U.K. and across Europe, it is the Christian faith and, in particular, the person of Jesus Christ, that has given rise to so many of the values and the freedoms that we enjoy,» Marsh reflected. «Yet that Christian framework is being challenged at the very foundational level. What we’ve seen in the U.K. in recent years is the imposition of a very different ideology that tends to be increasingly aggressive and coercive. And I think that there is a similar trend across Europe.»

Marsh explained that one of the organization’s goals is «to challenge secular humanism, including the sexual ideology that has arisen from it, and to do that by presenting, at the cultural level, the life-transforming person of Jesus Christ, and the liberating truths that flow from him, including the dignity of the human person and the precious gift of life itself.»

«That means working to move Christian testimony back into the public arena,» Marsh said, «because too often in recent times, the Church and Christians have been pushed out or retreated from it. So many of the issues in which we are engaging, including speaking up for life, marriage, family, healthy communities, protection of the most vulnerable, freedom of conscience and freedom to manifest and exercise Christian faith, come back to these fundamentals and provide an opportunity to challenge our society as to what kind of society she wants to be and to provide an attractive vision that flows form Jesus Christ. We need to see the integrated picture. There is a battle being fought not just on specific issues but for the very heart and soul of a culture. And we need to engage at both levels.»

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