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Mexican Film 'For Greater Glory' to Premiere at World Congress of Families VI Madrid, Spain (May 25-27)

Contact: Don Feder, Communications Director, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com; Judy Hodge, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.org; both with World Congress of Families 

MADRID, Spain, May 3, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The long-awaited film, "For Greater Glory," will have its international premiere at World Congress of Families VI -- May 25-27 in Madrid, Spain.

One of the most expensive movies ever produced in Mexico, it stars an international cast including Peter O'Toole (nominated for 8 Academy Awards) as the elderly priest Father Christopher, Andy Garcia as the leader of a rebel army and Ruben Blades, as Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles.

With passion and sensitivity, "For Greater Glory" (also known as "Cristiada") tells the story of a fight for freedom and faith, and the tragic chapter in Mexico's history -- the Cristero War of the 1920s.  Following a succession of revolutionary, socialist governments, Calles came to power in 1924 determined to stamp out Catholicism.

The Calles regime confiscated church property, desecrated religious objects, expelled foreign priests and closed monasteries, convents and religious schools. Mirroring the worst anti-clerical atrocities during the Spanish Civil War a decade later, clergy were murdered and loyal Catholics tortured and killed.

In desperation, ordinary Mexicans rose to defend their Church.  Known as the Cristeros (the name comes from their battle cry, "Viva Cristos Rey!" -- "Long Live Christ the King") the insurgents came from all walks of life.  Garcia plays their military leader -- retired General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde -- who is portrayed as a skeptic who nevertheless takes up arms to defend freedom of religion.

The Cristeros fought a larger and better-armed Mexican army to a standstill.  The war lasted from January 1927 to June 1929, when a peace was brokered by then-U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Whitney Morrow (father of Anne Morrow Lindbergh). Today, most Mexicans are unaware of the war, which cost 90,000 lives.  Calles' Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) went on to rule Mexico for most of the 20th century.

The cast also includes Mexican pro-life actor Eduardo Verastegui (the star of "Bella"), American actress Eva Longoria, who plays Gorostieta's wife, Tulita, and 14-year-old Mexican actor Mauricio Kuri, who portrays a child soldier who becomes a symbol of the rebellion.

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs commented: "We are honored to have the world premiere of this important film -- with its moving message of faith and liberty -- at World Congress of Families VI.  Some will see a reflection of this story of religious freedom under assault by militant secularism in recent government attempts to force Catholic institutions in the United States to violate their deeply held beliefs."

In November, the Spanish electorate turned out the nation's socialist party, after seven years of rule by the Zapatero government, ending another episode of attacks on family and faith by the radical left, including a new Spanish law allowing abortion on demand up to the 14th week of gestation (even up to the 22nd week in certain cases).

The Madrid Congress will be addressed by the Chief Rabbi of Spain, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the President of America's largest Southern Baptist seminary, an archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church and an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, among other notables.

World Congress of Families VI will be held May 25-27, 2012, in Madrid, Spain, at the Palacio de Congresos, and is the world’s largest gathering of pro-family leaders, scholars and activists.   The theme for the 2012 World Congress is "Marriage and Family: The Future of Society."  Those interested in attending World Congress of Families VI can register online at www.worldcongress.es

WCF VI  is organized by HazteOir.org (the local host committee)  and The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society.  Co-conveners for WCF VI in Madrid include Alliance Defense Fund, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and Focus on the Family.  World Congress of Families is also supported annually by our 35 partners, in 11 countries. 

For more information on World Congress of Families go to www.worldcongress.org.  To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Communications Director Don Feder at 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com or Judy Hodge 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.org.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) 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 Allan Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois.  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 will be held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.