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World Congress of Families IX Announces Four Recipients Who Will Receive Awards in Salt Lake City on October 27

Contact: Benjamin May, 202-737-5339, bmay@policyimpact.comwww.wcf9.org

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 20, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- The World Congress of Families announced today the names of recipients of special awards at the World Congress of Families IX: the Natural Family Woman of the Year, the Familia Et Veritas, and the 2015 International Pro-Life Award. The awards are presented annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to "promoting a greater understanding of the centrality of the natural family to a prosperous, stable, and free society and civilization."  In addition, special recognition at the closing ceremony will be given to the contributions Richard Wilkins made to the family through his leadership within the World Congress of Families.

"We are honored to recognize these outstanding individuals during World Congress IX who not only are deeply devoted to preserving the natural family throughout the world but who have dedicated their lives to protect the sanctity of life, marriage and the welfare of families," said Janice Shaw Crouse, a member of the Board of Directors of WCF and Executive Director of the World Congress on Families IX.

The Woman of the Year award will be presented to Theresa Okafor, who is Chief Executive Officer of Life League Nigeria and Director of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage. She is an international leader in support of the natural family. In 2009, she organized the first pro-family conference in Abuja, which was also a World Congress of Families Regional Event and has organized numerous conferences on the family thereafter.

Luca Volante, chairman of the Novae Terrae Foundation, and Andrea Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Sector, will both receive the Familia Et Veritas award. Williams, through Christian Concern has tirelessly campaigned for legislation that supports traditional marriage and the family and preventing the breakdown of families in the United Kingdom. Volante is recognized for his leadership toward protecting the right to life, religious freedom and education, and recognition that the family is the fundamental for cultural, educational, and intellectual development of children.

Father Maxim Obukhov, will be awarded the 2015 International Pro-Life Award. He is Director of the Department of Family and Life, Russian Orthodox Church and founder and chairman of the Zhizn Centers, Russia's largest and most influential pro-life organization He has also formed the All Russian Pro-Family Union, which now has 45 branches.

The Congress will show a video tribute for Richard G. Wilkins, former Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School and Managing Director of NGO Family Voice: The World Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, who passed away in 2012 from a heart attack. Wilkins was a long-time leader in the WCF and a significant contributor to the international pro-family movement. He has written numerous articles on constitutional issues and conducted an annual survey of Supreme Court voting trends published by the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. He was a former Assistant to the Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice. Wilkins was influential in the worldwide movement to celebrate, affirm, and strengthen the family.

Nominations for the awards are made by the Congress' 43 partners. Nominees include leaders, advocates, scholars, authors, parliamentarians, lawyers, and researchers from four continents. The awards are presented annually to individuals who have made significant contributions in support of the natural family. The recognition of Richard Wilkins is from WCF IX and the WCF coalition of pro-family leaders.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is the largest gathering of pro-family advocates in the world. WCF IX will seek to provide sound scholarship and effective strategies, and it will mobilize intellectual and advocacy resources to affirm and defend the natural family as the fundamental and only sustainable unit of a free society.

World Congress of Families IX will be held Oct. 27-30, 2015, in Salt Lake City. For more information about WCF, please visit WCF9.org and follow WCF on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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