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'iPledge' simulcast to urge Christians to vote

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Leading pro-family organizations will attempt to motivate and equip Christians to fulfill their citizenship responsibilities -- praying for the election and voting -- through a live simulcast in September to local churches.

The Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association are co-sponsoring "iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family and Freedom" Sunday, Sept. 9. The event will originate at 7 p.m. (EDT) from First Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., but churches throughout the United States will be able to host a simulcast of the 90-minute service. Christians also may host the event in their homes.

Among the speakers will be FRC President Tony Perkins, former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Maryland pastor Harry Jackson and actor Kirk Cameron. They will address such issues as religious freedom, abortion and other life concerns, and marriage.

The event's goal, according to FRC, is to lead Christians to pledge to: (1) Pray for the Nov. 6 election; (2) register -- and register others -- to vote, and (3) vote according to biblical values.

"America is in trouble," FRC's Kenyn Cureton told Baptist Press in explaining the purpose of the event. "Government is out of control, and not just in terms of outrageous spending. Human life is becoming more and more devalued. Marriage is being radically redefined. Our religious liberty and heritage is being removed.

"So we hope that the 'iPledge Sunday' event will not only serve as a wake-up call for Christians to get off the sidelines and onto these battle lines, but also will offer practical action steps as to how we can make a positive difference," said Cureton, FRC's vice president for church ministries.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), endorsed the event, saying, "I would encourage Southern Baptists and other people of faith to enthusiastically embrace 'iPledge Sunday' and to follow the exhortation to pray, prepare and participate in the upcoming election by voting their biblical values."


Within the Southern Baptist Convention, the ERLC and North American Mission Board will again co-sponsor the 40/40 Prayer Vigil this fall. The biannual emphasis gives Southern Baptists and other Christians the opportunity to pray for spiritual revival and national renewal according to two plans:

-- Pray once each day for the 40 days from Sept. 26 to Nov. 4;

-- Or pray each hour during the 40 hours from 4 p.m. Nov. 2 to 8 a.m. Nov. 4.

Churches and families may learn about "iPledge Sunday" online and sign up to host a simulcast at

Information on the 40/40 vigil -- plus a free, downloadable prayer guide -- is available at

Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( ) and in your email (

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


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