WHO WE ARE
Orthodox Christians for Life – Indianapolis is the first Indiana chapter of the national organization Orthodox Christians for Life (OCLife) based in Riverside, California, which is a non-profit religious educational Pro-Life organization consisting of members primarily from the Eastern Orthodox Church, recognized as a fourth major faith in the United States. OCLife was founded in early 1986 by Rev Edward Pehanich an Orthodox priest of the American Carpatho-Russian jurisdiction, Deacon John Protopapas of blessed memory, and his wife, Matushka Valerie Protopapas, a prolific writer on sanctity of life issues.
OCLife Indianapolis functions in cooperation with the hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the Orthodox Church regardless of jurisdiction or geographical location; and supports the doctrines and canons of the Church.
Orthodox Christians for Life is primarily a religious-educational organization and does not organize marches, demonstrations, or sit-ins; however, we do participate in such Pro-Life events as a group, or as individuals, providing they are peaceful and do not conflict with Church doctrine. We condemn all forms of violence in any effort to resolve sanctity of human 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.
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.
- To initiate monthly corporate prayer in all Orthodox parishes in Indiana, regardless of jurisdiction, through liturgical prayer services, silent prayer vigils at abortion facilities and supporting major Pro-Life prayer events such as March for Life and 40 Days for Life.
- To educate Orthodox and Non-Orthodox about the sanctity of all innocent human life, regardless of age or condition of health and traditional Christian values such as the sanctity of marriage and the holiness of chastity (both in and out of marriage).
- To work in a cooperative spirit with all Pro-Life organizations, regardless of religious affiliation, providing they espouse a complimentary sanctity of life ethic. In this area we serve as a unique witness to the teachings of the Early Christian Church.
- To support women in crisis pregnancy through referrals to and fund raising for crisis pregnancy centers.
- To help victims of abortion find healing, forgiveness and restoration through the Orthodox Church.
WHY ESTABLISH A CHAPTER IN INDIANAPOLIS?
According to the most recent statistics provided by the US Census on abortion in 2008, there were 1.21 million abortions reported, 10,680 of which are from Indiana. An average of one million babies are aborted each year in the US alone. Since abortion was legalized in 1973 there had been over 54 million abortions or lives destroyed.
We need to unite and involve Orthodox Christians in Indianapolis in the spiritual war against abortion and to uphold the sanctity of God’s gift of life.
As Orthodox Christians, we are blessed to have the fullness of the Faith and have the responsibility to be a witness to it in our daily life and prayer.
The world needs to hear the voice of the Orthodox Church in matters of life and death, especially the sanctity of life at conception. It is our duty to defend the weak and innocent who cannot defend themselves against injustice and unrighteousness.
Abortion leaves its victims deep wounds in body, soul and spirit. Victims of abortion need healing in the Church, the spiritual hospital.