More than 45 leaders of Canadian Christian organizations have signed a statement lamenting hastened death in Canada.
“Medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and its impact on Canadians is the social justice issue of our time,” says David Guretzki, president of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). “This poses a real and significant threat to the lives of persons with disabilities, as UN experts have pointed out. We must commit to tangible action that demonstrates the love of God to those who are suffering and alone.”
The EFC initiated the statement out of deep concern and grief that Canadians are asking for medical assistance in dying because they feel they have no other options.
The statement affirms the sanctity of human life and the dignity of every human being. The signatories commit to show the love of God to those who feel abandoned and without hope. They resolve to mobilize their communities to care for those who are suffering and isolated.
“As followers of Jesus, we share a deep and profound commitment to the sanctity of all human life,” declares the statement. “Human life is being devalued and discarded when people in vulnerable situations among us are not being supported to live, but facilitated to die. How then will we respond?”
The statement’s signatories are leaders from denominations, educational institutions, mission agencies and other Christian organizations. In signing, these Christian leaders affirm the duty of care humans owe to one another. They commit to fully welcome people with disability and mental illness in their churches and communities.
The EFC encourages pastors and church leadership to bring this statement to their congregations and ask for their agreement to its principles. The statement can be a tool to raise the question of how churches can reach out and provide compassionate care to their members and neighbours. It can be a powerful catalyst for congregations to commit to demonstrating the love of God and providing care and comfort to those who are suffering and alone.
“This is a crucial time for us to love our neighbours,” says Julia Beazley, the EFC’s director of public policy. “We invite churches across Canada to join us in this commitment. Please consider affirming this statement with your congregation. Resolve to reach out in tangible ways to those who are struggling, who may be feeling alone, isolated and without hope.”
The statement and 49 signatories are online at www.TheEFC.ca/DeclareAndResolve.
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