Representatives of World Congress of Families to Meet in Russia
A planning meeting for World Congress of Families VIII(September 10-12, 2014) will take place in Moscow next week. The meeting at the Crown Plaza Hotel (October 15-16) will include representatives of pro-family groups from Russia, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, France, Serbia, and the United States.
World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs commented: “There is great historic significance and symbolic meaning in holding the Congress in Moscow. It was in Moscow in 1995, on a visit to Russia, that WCF founder Allan Carlson met with Professor Anatoly Antonov and other Russian leaders where they envisioned a World Congress of Families to restore the natural family and unite East and West in the post Cold War era. With the countries of the former Soviet Union emerging from more than 70 years of communist persecution of the church and family, it is even more apparent today that only family and faith can renew a free and stable society in Russia and in the post-modern Western countries.”
Jacobs further commented; “Father Maxim Obukhov (who founded the pro-life movement in Russia over twenty years ago) was determined to make a bid for a Moscow WCF after attending the Warsaw Congress in 2007. Father Maxim and Alexey Komov drafted the first official proposal for Moscow as the site for a Congress at a 2009 meeting in Colorado Springs. Another milestone in this process was the world’s first Demographic Summit, held at the Russian State Social University in 2011. Alexey Komov, World Congress of Families Representative in Russia and the CIS, has done a remarkable job as the head of the local organizing committee for WCF VIII.”
Past Congresses have been held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012) and Sydney (2013), World Congress of Families has also held regional events in Vancouver, Toronto, Port of Spain (Trinidad), London, Abuja and Lagos (Nigeria), Riga (Latvia), Ulyanovsk (Russia) and Manila.
“Each Congress is unique,” Jacobs observed. “Each has its own focus. Each emphasizes concerns of the host country as well as international issues. Each promulgates its own declaration. Besides the 2010 Demographic Summit, World Congress of Families involvement with Russia includes support for its child protection law, overwhelmingly enacted by the Duma in June.”
The theme of World Congress of Families VIII (September 10-12, 2014) will be “Every Child a Gift: Large Families, the Future of Humanity. WCF VIII will convene in the Congress Hall of the Kremlin (where the Communist Party of the USSR used to meet). The second day will be at the Christ the Savior Cathedral, the church that was demolished by the communists.
Jacobs noted: “This will be our first Congress in an Orthodox country. Along with Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Evangelicals and others, increasingly, our Orthodox brothers and sisters are taking leadership roles in the international pro-family movement.” World Congress of Families has Partners in 15 countries and works with pro-life and pro-family groups in more than 80 countries on six continents.
Jacobs: “A discussion of demographics has figured in every Congress since Prague. I expect that to intensify at Moscow 2014. Russia currently has a well below-replacement birth rate and one of the highest abortion rates in the world. However, unlike most Western nations, it also has a government that’s willing to confront this civilizational crisis with pro-family policies. Prior to the Moscow meeting, Komov and WCF Communications Director Don Feder, along with Srdjan Nogo of the Serbian group Dveri (WCF’s newest Partner) and French pro-marriage activist Fabrice Sorlin, will be in Kiev for meetings with key Ukrainian leaders, including members of parliament.
A World Congress of Families leadership team was recently in Belgrade to lend support to a protest against a “gay pride” parade, which was ultimately cancelled.