The Unreached Millions

“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice while there remains someone who has not heard it once.”

An Irish friend of mine (Catholic of course😉 ) sent me this quote that he had seen – surprise, surprise – on an Evangelical Protestant site talking about missionary work. As he read deeper into the article and discovered the identity of the group (and no small one either) who had never heard the Gospel even once, he became greatly moved and even choked up.

So who are these “unreached” people? One would expect there to be a reasonable explanation to account for this anomaly: extreme geographical isolation, for example, like African tribes on the vast Serengeti plain or dense imprenetrable jungles; South American indians residing along the remotest tributaries of the Amazon river. Or really any inaccessible people living way off the main human highways and byways of our planet. But no!

fetus-300x300

They are the victims of abortion, pre-born children whose lives are ended violently before they have a chance to hear about Jesus.

Yes, this group of people – the largest by far on the planet – is still neglected by many Christians in the world, though the Catholic Church has been, by far, the loudest voice in crying out in defense of the unborn (though not the lone voice, as this quote from the Evangelical Protestant site has shown). So large is this group of victims of abortion. that in 2008 alone, according to statistics, almost 44 million people in this worldwide demographic slipped into eternity without hearing about Christ. Is that not the greatest and most deplorable of tragedies?

We allow ourselves to be moved to action for those who have already been born, but if a child has not yet drawn its first breath we all too often hold compassion at bay, as if God, the Giver of Life, expects ‘love for our neighbour’ to be determined by whether or not we can behold the child as a being apart from its mother. If the child still lies within the secret darkness of the womb, it is often written off as only a foetus, still part of the mother and not a separate human being of infinite potential. Human life,  from the moment of conception, is infused with an immortal soul (as no.2271 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms) and should never be reduced to an object whose very right to live may be decided by the whim of the mother (and/or those around her).

Are these children to be obliterated just when they are starting their journey on Earth, and before they have even had a chance to receive Baptism, washing away the “old child of Adam”, and making them members of the Church Christ founded to instruct them to listen to His Holy Word? Are they to die before learning the wonder that it is to love, honour and obey God; to know the beautiful truth of our Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice for their Redemption, He Who is Divine Who came “born of a woman” like each one of us, to save us from death and show us the path to Paradise?

Who has the right to deprive anyone of this?

Though “unreached”, these little ones are anything but unreachable. The “unreachability” of these millions of lives is owing solely to an unjust, cruel law that permits parents to have them killed before they can grow up to hear and understand the Good News. If we worked together to get the law changed, the love of Jesus could reach both body and soul of these little ones.

May we, the fortunate ones, whose parents did not cruelly abort us at the incipience of our lives, fight courageously against this evil. May we do everything possible to make sure that no child be made one more of the now “unreachable millions” of little lives who were pulled from their mothers’ wombs and poured down a hospital sluice. Pray for an end to abortion.

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2 Responses to The Unreached Millions

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    My understanding of the Evangelical position on abortion is that it has changed over the years. Before the 1960s, it was much the same as the Catholic one, as indeed was the position on abortion held by most people back then, including agnostics and other secularists. During the 1960s, it began to swing towards acceptance of abortion. During the 1980s, the pendulum began moving back to the Catholic position. The reasons for the 1960s shift are varied: concerns about rape, incest, birth defects (nb: the thalidomide crisis), overpopulation, and a desire to distance Protestant Evangelicalism from Catholic Natural Law. Evangelicals, being your quintessential bible-thumpers, liked to quote Exodus 21:22:

    “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined…”

    RSV

    …which they took to mean that inducing abortion was not homicide in OT times and should not, therefore, be absolutely forbidden in our times.

    In the early 1970s, the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, being the largest hardline Protestant (as opposed to mealy-mouthed mainline Protestant) group in the States actually passed a resolution (since repealed) in favour of limited abortion rights.

    Starting in the 1980s, the evangelical consensus began heading toward Catholic doctrine on abortion, but they are not entirely back in the fold even yet. For example, evangelicals are not generally opposed to contraception as a matter of doctrine (although some oppose it as a matter of practise), despite the fact that some forms of birth control (nb: IUDs) are abortifacient, and despite the fact that acceptance of non-abortifacient birth control is near the top of abortion’s slippery slope.

    I don’t expect people to take my word for all of the above statements (although I assure you, they are based on reading and experience), but the reason I haven’t given links is that a definitive ‘Evangelical’ position on abortion, birth control or pretty much anything else is hard to pin down. There are many different branches of Evangelical Protestantism – dozens, perhaps hundreds or more – and at least some denominations calling themselves “Evangelical” continue to view abortion as morally permissible. I don’t whether the Calvary Chapel attended by our erstwhile friend, St Bozo, allows it or not.

    One might Google Evengelicals Abortion History if interested in reading more about this.

  2. kathleen says:

    Thanks JH – interesting comment. (Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday; I had one of my rare early nights!)

    I know very little about Evangelical Protestantism myself, but yes, they are clearly very divided over the legitimacy or not of abortion. Some are very much against it, like the man who wrote the piece where I got the idea of the title of the article, but others certainly wangle in their own made up ‘justifications’ for it to be permitted. That’s what happens when you leave the Rock of Christ (where we have authority and a Magisterium to define such important issues) and then have to make up your own church’s rules; with everything being up for discussion!😉

    In the same way you do not give the links to the EP’s links, I decided not to either when I wrote this article, for too much of most of that article was a reprimand to the author’s fellow Protestants to change their attitude to reject abortion, and the political aspects, and not what I wanted to concentrate on.
    Which is that millions of lives have been put out of the reach of evangelisation, of ever being given the chance to hear the Good News, owing to the evil of abortion.

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