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Metropolitan Hilarion, Russian Orthodox Church, Expresses Support for WCF Moscow Demographic Summit

Contact: Don Feder, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com; Lisa Youngblood, 815-964-5819, lisa@worldcongress.org; both with World Congress of Families

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- On February 10, World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs was one of a group of evangelical leaders who were privileged to meet with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev.  The Metropolitan is head of International Relations and holds the second highest position in the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the course of a conversation with Jacobs, Metropolitan Hilarion expressed support for pro-life and pro-family positions, and both the WCF "Moscow Demographic Summit: Family and the Future of Humankind" (June 28-30) and a potential Russian bid for World Congress of Families VII in 2013/2014.

The meeting was organized Dr. John A. Bernbaum, president of the Russian American Institute, and took place in Washington, D.C.

Besides Jacobs, guests included Michael Cromartie (Ethics & Public Policy Center), Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse (Concerned Women for America), Dr. Richard Land (Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention), Paul Marshall (Hudson Institute), Daniel Schmidt (The Bradley Foundation) and Mark Tooley (Institute on Religion and Democracy). EPPC, CWA and ERLC are all World Congress of Families Partners.

Jacobs said the Metropolitan was enthusiastic about the upcoming Moscow event -- the world's first Demographic Summit -- and recognized the names of several Church officials on the Organizing Committee, among them Father Maxim Obukhov (head of Pro-Life Centers of the Russian Orthodox Church) and Father Dimitry Smirnov (Chairman of the Synodal Department on Relationships with the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement, and Chairman of the Church's Bioethics Commission).

Jacobs disclosed: "The purpose of the meeting was to give Metropolitan Hilarion an opportunity to establish relationships with Evangelical and other pro-family leaders who share his values and those of the Russian Patriarch, especially regarding the life issue and the family. We were delighted to have the World Congress of Families included among that select group and encouraged by his support for the Demographic Summit."

The Summit will take place at the Russian State Sociological University in Moscow, June 28-30, and include scholars, activists and religious and political leaders. It will consider all aspects of what's come to be known as Demographic Winter -- the rapid worldwide decline of birth rates. Alexey Komov is the Coordinator of the Organizing Committee as well as WCF Representative in Russia and the CIS. He can be contacted by clicking here.

Hilarion Alfeyev  is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. At present, he is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He is also a noted theologian, church historian and composer and has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as numerous compositions for choir and orchestra.

For more information on World Congress of Families, visit www.worldcongress.org.  To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337 or 815-222-2490 or dfeder@rcn.com

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60  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) and Warsaw, Poland (2007).  The World Congress of Families V was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, August 10-12, 2009 (www.worldcongress.org).