Slovenia is organising its second 40 Days for Life campaign this Autumn. The first campaign they had 230 prayer volunteers. They are praying outside a hospital that performs abortions.

Matjaz Venta is the new campaign leader. He works in one of the tallest buildings in the capital, and I joke with him that next time I will be able to park my corporate helicopter on the 21st story helipad on his building when I return. The helipad has never been used in its 4 year history. He also lives in a community by a Marian Shrine on the top of a hill, with a superb view of the surrounding countryside. He has a very deep faith and is passionate about prayer and the pro-life cause.


Abortion was legalised in Slovenia in 1952 during the communist era. Although communism came to an end 25 years ago, it still pervades some of the country?s mentality. There are 4,000 abortions a year among the two million population, although Matjaz informs me that nearer his date of birth there were 20,000 a year. The present rate is a third of the abortion rate of the United Kingdom. The country is supposedly 70% Christian, and formerly part of the Habsburg empire, before Yugoslavia. Independence was a huge moment for the country during the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Their prayer vigil is outside the local hospital, where abortions are performed in three different locations inside. This time they have moved the prayer vigil slightly up the road to be closer to one location where referrals are done.


Nada, one of the core team volunteers, tells me how they received spiteful responses from some members of the public following their first campaign, although there were positive comments too. Nada is a professional musician who has composed a song for their efforts.

Around the corner, we prayed in a church which was confiscated by the communists and turned into a film studio. The church and Jesuit house was returned less than 20 years ago. After the confiscation by the communists, abortions were performed there, and the room where abortions were done is now a chapel. It is a telling story of the spiritual journey of the country. Many are still unwilling to be open to family tragedies during the communist era.


Ljubljana overall have a good local team. Valentina has been on the national media recently, has testified in the Parliament and also has her own pro-life organisation. They have also had a pro-life festival here before.

Overall they have a challenge to engage Christians to pray publicly for an end to abortion, as many are shy and very reticent to pray in public (especially after the communist era). It is an enthusiastic team, and I look forward to what God has in store for Slovenia!

Robert Colquhoun, Director, International Campaigns

Robert is based in London, where he led the first 40 Days for Life campaign in England. He now assists local leaders coordinate 40 Days for Life efforts in nations as widespread as Australia, Brazil, Croatia and South Africa.