Thousands of people around the world have gathered in Warsaw to defend and discuss how to restore the traditional family.
The World Congress on Families IV opened at Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science on Friday after months of controversy and attacks from European countries and gay rights group that were offended by the gathering’s stance on abortion, homosexuality, and family life.
“If Europe succumbs to the modern, post-family, secular worldview completely, it’s like losing a great ally in a global contest,” said Allan Carlson, WCF founder and international secretary, according to OneNewsNow.
“The ramifications will be direct and indirect for the United States, so we need to be there – we need to support pro-family movements and people and governments that exist in Europe right now.”
Under the theme of “The Natural Family – Springtime for Europe and the World,” more than 3,000 delegates from over 60 countries will discuss concerns over plummeting birthrates in Europe, decreased emphasis on marriage in many of the developing world, and the harm of same-sex “marriage” on May 11-13.
“The fact is most of the world’s people are pro-marriage, pro-family,” declared Bill Saunders, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Human Life and Bioethics, at a press conference ahead of the Congress in March.
“They resent what is trying to be done to them by these international bureaucrats and the World Congress of Families allows them to join together, resist that and advance a very positive vision of marriage and family,” he added.
Christian co-sponsors of the Congress include the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.
Organizers explained that Poland was chosen because it is a country that strives to maintain its commitment to traditional family values in spite of the pressure from fellow European Union countries.
According to the WCF, nine of the ten nations with the lowest birthrates worldwide are in Europe. Moreover, the only European country with a replacement-level birthrate is the Muslim nation of Albania.
The opening address will be given by Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who banned a 2005 homosexual rights parade when he was mayor of Warsaw.
Other welcoming remarks will be given by Roman Giertych, Poland’s vice prime minister and minister of education; Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, mayor of Warsaw; and other Polish leaders.
Previous Congresses were held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999) and Mexico City (2004). World Congress of Families IV marks the 10th anniversary of the World Congress of Families.