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World Congress of Families VII (WCF Sydney 2013) Opens in Two Weeks -- Latest Chapter in Forging an International Pro-Family Movement

Contact: Don Feder, 508-405-1337, don@worldcongress.org; The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.org

SYDNEY, Australia, May 2, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Commenting on the opening of World Congress of Families VII (May 15-18, in Sydney) -- Happy Families, Healthy Economy: A New Vision for Prosperity and Social Progress, Managing Director Larry Jacobs said this would be a Congress of firsts -- our first in the southern Hemisphere, the first in the Asia-Pacific Region, the first in an English-speaking country and the first in a Commonwealth country.

"Equally important," Jacobs observed, "it's the first time we've had Congresses in two consecutive years -- World Congress of Families VI in Madrid in 2012 and WCF VII in Sydney this year.  In past years, there have always been 2 to 4 years between Congresses. World Congress of Families VIII is scheduled for Moscow (in the Kremlin), September 10-12, 2014 -- which would make three Congresses in three years."

"This is a testament to the growth and vibrancy of the international pro-family movement," Jacobs declared. World Congress of Families now has more than 40 Partners -- pro-family, pro-marriage, and pro-life groups in the United States, Canada, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Australia and South Africa. "These organizations -- including groups in the U.S. like Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom -- representing millions of members, support us financially and promote our projects and activities," Jacobs disclosed.

WCF also has a close working relationship with dozens of family-values groups throughout the world. Leaders of over 95 pro-life, pro-family groups are expected to attend World Congress of Families VII, which opens in Sydney in two weeks.

WCF VII comes at a time of growing apprehension over the fate of marriage and the rights of children to have a mother and father.  In the United States, the future of natural marriage could hinge on one vote on the Supreme Court.  Legislatures in Britain, France and New Zealand all have recently taken steps to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.  Other global assaults on the natural family, including the attacks on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the worldwide decline in birth rates and marriage rates, have an intractable relationship with the causes of the global economic crisis.

"These annual Congresses are an opportunity for the international pro-family movement to meet, strategize, get informed and gird themselves for battle in the war of ideas.  This is consistent with the mission of the WCF to provide sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society." Jacobs commented.

Specifically, the World Congress of Families seeks to shift the terms of certain key public debates worldwide:

  1. From "The family as an obstacle to development" to the "family as the source of social renewal and progress"; 
  2. From "overpopulation" to "underpopulation" as the demographic problem facing the 21st century;
  3. From "the small family and voluntary childlessness as good" to "the celebration of the large family as a special social gift";
  4. And from religious orthodoxy as a "threat to progress" to "religious orthodoxy as the source of humane values and cultural progress."

World Congress of Families VII Sydney sessions will include: The Causes And Cost of Family Breakdown -- What Families Are Best for the Economy? -- Will the Human Family Survive: Can We Prosper with Small Families? -- Philosophical Roots of the Cultural Revolution -- Secular Humanism and Family Values -- Demographic Winter -- Masculinity and Femininity -- The Impact on Children of Legalizing "Same-Sex Marriage" -- Economic and Social Costs of Abortion -- Healing Post-Abortion Trauma -- Work of the Home: A True Profession -- AIDS Prevention through Strengthening Families -- Marriage as An Instrument of Human Development -- Promoting Families In the Mainstream and Online Media -- Consumerism and The Soul -- Defending Faith In An Age of Christophobia -- The Pornography Industry -- and Reaching the Next Generation with a Pro-Family Message.

Click here for an up-to-date program of WCF Sydney 2013:

Click here for a list of highlighted speakers:

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For more information on World Congress of Families, please visit www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at 1-508-405-1337.

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (www.profam.org) is located in Rockford, Illinois and is an independent, non-profit research and education center that provides sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.  The Howard Center is the publisher of the journal, "The Family In America" and is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families (WCF) project which is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and inter-faith people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).  The WCF was founded in 1997 by Dr. Allan Carlson, President of The Howard Center.  To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families -- Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw, Poland (2007) and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009).  World Congress of Families VI was held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.  World Congress of Families VII will be held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.wcfsydney2013.org.au.