LOS ANGELES (CNS) — One of the country’s top African-American Christian leaders and head of fifth largest Protestant denomination in U.S. urged more than 15,000 Southern Californians to “stand for justice for the unborn” and “proclaim that all babies deserve the right to life. Abortion is the deliberate destruction of a human being before birth,” said Bishop Charles E. Blake, presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, based in Los Angeles. “As such, it is contrary both to biblical principle and to natural law, both of which prohibit the taking of innocent human life. Our commitment as Christians to defending human dignity and proclaiming the equal rights of all impels us to speak out forcefully against abortion,” the bishop said in remarks to kick off OneLife LA Jan. 23 in downtown Los Angeles. OneLife LA is the only large-scale event that celebrates the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez welcomed the crowd and also addressed the event, which drew a diverse roster of local and international speakers and celebrities. Afterward, the archbishop celebrated a “One Life, One Light Requiem for the Unborn” Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.