Canadians prepare for Sanctity of Life Sunday
CANADA – Lutherans across Canada are preparing to observe Sanctity of Life Sunday (also known as Life Sunday) on January 18. Every year, on the second Sunday following Epiphany, Lutheran Church–Canada congregations across the country remember life issues, like abortion and euthanasia, in their prayers.
2014 was a significant year for life-issues in North America, especially on the topics of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. In November, assisted-suicide advocate Brittany Maynard took her own life after drawing headlines earlier this year on her intent to do so. And in the spring, the province of Quebec passed a bill legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide (scheduled to take effect at the end of 2015).
There have also been concerns that a draft human rights policy from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario released in late 2014 will restrict the religious and moral freedoms of physicians in Ontario, especially on issues like abortion and assisted suicide.
At the same time, Lutherans have attempted to bring a pro-life perspective to the topic in a number of ways. The Canadian Lutheran highlighted the subjects of euthanasia and assisted suicide earlier in June, with a feature story by Dr. L. Block entitled “Hands of Mercy.” And the annual Love Life Conference, sponsored by a number of Lutheran organizations including Lutherans for Life-Canada, focused on the subject of euthanasia, with the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition serving as keynote speaker.