This Weekend Cancelled
This year’s eighth March for Life should be taking place September 17th, 2017. (The day prior was the March for Life in Berlin, Germany.) The occasion marks the 600th anniversary of the birth year of Switzerland’s patron saint, Niklaus von Flüe. Also, the event was to be located the central part of the country, a place called Flüeli-Ranft, Sachseln, where Niklaus had his roots. Intended was simply a prayer march, no banners or flags, in other words nothing contentious like a political rally.
At first the Swiss Bishops’ Conference wanted to send an official representative. The whole program was prepared, countless flyers printed. The advertisement and announcement campaign was running at full speed. Suddenly then the community refused permission, arguing that the there should be official approval. Grounds were fear of violence based on a few calls from leftist internet circles for the same day, the National Day of Prayer and Repentance (a
holiday, which official agencies recognize as the Christian basis of the Swiss state). Recourse to the Canton government brought no results. Those in charge of the March called for countless prayer campaigns. In the end, it was decided not to take legal action, and the occasion was planned for next spring instead.
The ban triggered media coverage so, in a way, still served the cause for life. Officials have now assured those answerable for the March more than once that the event will be approved for a Saturday in spring, 2018. So now these people should be taken at their word and a petition for a prayerful March for Life be handed in again, for the same location. God brings good out of evil. We pray and work so this pro-life work will further strengthen the right to life. As the national anthem says, “Pray, free Swiss, pray.” And therefore we invite all our European and worldwide friends to pray together to mark what should have happened September 17, 2017.
Christoph Keel & Joannes Bucher contributed this report.