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Thursday 27 February 2020

Press release

International initiative to equip the church in Northern Ireland on issues of human dignity - Stand for Life: Belfast coming in June

Both Lives Matter, Evangelical Alliance, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission are joining together in a unique partnership responding to far-reaching changes to the law on abortion in Northern Ireland. The partnership will host an international conference in Belfast on 19 & 20 June and launch resources to equip the church.

“We’re entering a new phase in the history of Northern Ireland,” stated Dawn McAvoy, co-founder of Both Lives Matter. “We will continue to help people re-imagine, advocate and model a better story about the dignity of both mother and unborn child as abortion becomes more widely available here. Both Lives Matter has support across the community in Northern Ireland and we recognise that the Church has a vital role to play in shaping a true culture of life.”

David Smyth, the Evangelical Alliance’s head of Northern Ireland, said, “This is an important moment for the Church in Northern Ireland to speak with one united voice about the dignity of both mother and child. We must carefully navigate how to keep the conversation on abortion current without it becoming the defining issue. We are committed to making sure the church is ready for this moment and Stand for Life Belfast is a hopeful and proactive response to the specific context of Northern Ireland.”

Russell Moore who serves as president of the ERLC, an entity of the Southern Baptist denomination, added, “Our hope is that our long and tragic experience with abortion here in the United States might give us a unique ability to serve the churches of Northern Ireland in light of this new reality. We are not coming with all the answers. Instead, we hope to communicate to our brothers and sisters in Christ that we will be alongside them for prayer and support for the challenging work that lies ahead.”

As part of this effort these organisations will jointly host a two-day conference, “Stand for Life: Belfast,” June 19-20 in Belfast. The event will equip local leaders to think biblically about issues of life and human dignity. The event will provide training and development in how to best serve women and unborn babies within and alongside existing church ministries and community initiatives.

In addition, the partnership will produce a range of pro-women and pro-life resources for churches to equip their staff, lead their congregations, and be a witness for life in the communities they serve.

Finally, the ERLC has pledged to fund the placement of at least one scanner with a women’s faith based ministry that seeks to serve mothers who face challenging circumstances in pregnancy and early motherhood in Northern Ireland. This will be the first-ever international ultrasound placement by the ERLC.

Additional details about “Stand for Life: Belfast” will be announced on the initiative’s website: www.standforlife.uk.

For additional information regarding the three partnering pro-life entities, visit the links below:

Media enquiries

David Smyth
Email: d.smyth@eauk.org

Notes to editors

For further comment please contact;
David Smyth, head of the Evangelical Alliance NI - 07739 307656

About the Evangelical Alliance

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.

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