South Mississippi Christians Pray For Schiavo This Easter

As they celebrate eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, some South Mississippi Christians are speaking out about a life that is slowly slipping away.

This Easter Sunday, Terry Schiavo lies starving to death in a Florida hospice.

It seems the power of life and death has thrust religion into the debate.

"Our Father, who art in heaven."

There were prayers for the helpless.

Reverend John Kiser asked God to bring "comfort the families of Terry Schiavo. That there is a resurrection and that there is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

From pews to the pulpit, concern for Schiavo filled Gulfport's First Presbyterian Church.

"Terry Schiavo is being loved by Jesus through this whole thing," Reverend Kiser told the congregation.

Church members celebrating their faith in life after death weighed in on the controversy over whether courts, politicians, or anyone else should decide when life should end.

"It's so sad that she's been kept alive for so long and yet it's so sad that someone has to pull the tube out of her stomach and let her die in such a painful terrible way," said Kay Andre.

"I don't have the answers to those questions, but I think they affect all of us that care about other people. We can just pray for her hope she finds peace in the next life that she probably didn't find in this one," Andre added.

Jane Joyce also talked about her feelings. "I don't know that I would call it a religious issue but in my opinion God is the one that has the right to decide when we live and when we die and it's not man's choice."

On Easter Sunday, Terry Schiavo continued a slow death inside a Florida hospice. Outside.. demonstrators continued to protest her treatment even though some have gone to jail.

"Jesus stood against authority in a proper way in order to make sure that civil authority did not transgress divine right and divine authority," said Reverend Kiser. "I don't think that what's being done in the case of Terry Schiavo is any perfect expression of that but it is a legitimate Christian expression of that."