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JACKSON, Mississippi, December 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday – also known as “Civil Rights Day” in some states – marks a time to recall the injustice directed against a minority population that were once deemed less than human.

Now, a group of black pastors are planning a celebration to draw attention to the next step in the civil rights movement: dignity and equal protection for unborn children.

Sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, the Festival for Life will take place January 17 at 4pm at the Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, where students and other guests will view several pro-life films and hear remarks from pro-life pastors.

The film lineup includes Maafa 21, a documentary uncovering how African Americans have been a continual target of the eugenics movement, perpetuated today by proponents of abortion and birth control.

Pastor Joseph Parker of Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal church in Pulaski, Tennessee, told LifeSiteNews.com that “clearly we see the life issue as a civil rights issue, but tragically, the other side has never wanted it to be seen as such.” Parker’s associates include Rev. Walter Hoye, a black pastor who was arrested for peaceful pro-life witness outside an Oakland, California abortion clinic in May 2008.

The pastor said the goal of the festival would be to illustrate “the need for the church to stand against abortion.” “Too many believers, leaders in the Church and others, have been much too passive on this issue,” said Parker, who hoped that the event would be copied by other believers in their own communities.

“It is very important to point out that the Life issue is one of, if not the most serious civil rights issue that any people, African Americans or any other people, have ever faced. If ever there was a civil rights issue worth standing up for, this is it!”

Several pro-life projects, notably the Genocide Awareness Project of the Center of Bio-Ethical Reform, have highlighted parallels between the modern abortion business and previous cases of mass dehumanization of certain populations.

In January, Parker and his associates hope to fuel the conversation – and conversion – that will one day bring an end to the civil rights abuse of abortion.

“Its very fruitful to stir believers in their faith to the point that they pray daily, ‘Lord, show me how to be an effective witness for you today – for the cause of salvation and for the cause of life.’”

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