Prolife Leader Calls for Prayer and Fasting
To Save Black Pastor Facing 2 years in Jail
MT. FREEDOM, NJ – Just one month after celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday, a black Pastor faces a 2-year jail term following a 9-month ordeal that began when he was arrested for peacefully witnessing in front of an Oakland, California, abortion facility.
He is Walter B. Hoye II, a deeply compassionate pastor from nearby Berkeley. At a sentencing hearing on February 19, 2009, he faces two years in jail, and a $4,000 fine for allegedly harassing women entering an abortion clinic and failing to maintain an 8-foot distance from them.
It doesn’t matter that he has a video proving that he did nothing of the sort.
On January 15, he was nevertheless convicted of unlawfully approaching clients coming for abortions at the clinic. His conviction foreshadows even stiffer sentences if President Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into law. FOCA will effectively end civil rights for pro-life activists.
All Pastor Hoye did was wear a sign reading, “Jesus Loves You! Let us help!” He also offered women information on abortion alternatives with his customary smile. “Can I talk to you for a minute about abortion alternatives? I was simply offering them a choice,” he says.
But for now, Walter Hoye is at the mercy of the court.
That’s why Dennis Howard, President of the Movement for a Better America, is calling for a nationwide campaign of prayer and fasting from now through February 19 – and continuing after that date if Pastor Hoye is sent to jail. “I invite all people of good will to join in this campaign of mercy for Pastor Hoye.”
Pastor Hoye tells his moving story in a 12-page testimony called “Letters from a California Courtroom,” just published by The Movement for a Better America and the Issues4Life Foundation. It is available on both organizations’ websites.
Commenting on Hoye’s testimony, Howard said:
“This is every bit as powerful a document as Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ – written 46 years ago. It is must reading for every pro-lifer, every enemy of genocide by abortion, and every opponent of the exploitation of the helpless and the unborn”
Howard called on “bishops, pastors, churches, pro-life organizations, and all people of good will to fast and pray that this good and holy man will receive mercy from the court, and be allowed to continue his heartfelt ministry while respecting reasonable limits imposed by the court.”
Howard added, “It is vital that pro-lifers show their respect for the court during this period by praying and fasting as an alternative to demonstrating in front of abortion clinics. No one will gain if Pastor Hoye is summarily taken off to jail, away from his beloved wife Lori and his beloved ministry.”
He said: “We need to lay our prayers and sacrifices before the Lord in our churches, in our homes, in adoration chapels across our nation. These killing centers are satanic workshops. Yes, we must witness in front of abortion mills, but it is time we asked: Are we sending up our petitions in the right places? We better start praying a lot harder in our churches and our homes, or we risk losing those freedoms, too.”
Howard also sees this as “an opportunity for the pro-life movement to show greater unity and solidarity. This is not 'our' campaign. It belongs to the whole movement, and the sooner we all start working together, the sooner this struggle can be won.”
He invited all pro-life groups – state, local, national -- to download the “Letters” document, send links to their email lists, and post them on their websites.
“This may be our last chance to stop FOCA,” he said. “If FOCA passes, a darkness will descend across America. Pastor Hoye is the light that could end the darkness.”
He pointed out: “February is Black History Month. Let us celebrate it by working to end genocide by abortion. It is time to defend all of the unborn. What a tragedy it would be if a genuine follower of Martin Luther King, Jr., -- like Pastor Hoye – should end up going to jail in Oakland 46 long years after Dr. King went to jail in Birmingham.”
Howard also invited people to write to their state and local leaders – including pastors, bishops, governors, mayors – as well as Congress and the President.
Read about Pastor Hoye at California Catholic Daily