Moscow must be counting down! (No, not to the Rugby World
Cup, although there are only 93 days to go until the opening ceremony, and
Russia’s first game is on 15 September against the USA…)  There are only three short weeks to go until the
opening of the Moscow Demographic Summit: The Family and the Future of
Humankind. On June 29-30, the Russian State Social University will host the Summit
which will focus on the worldwide phenomenon of declining birth
rates and is being sponsored by the World Congress of Families.

With the start of the Summit fast approaching, the list of
speakers at the Summit has been announced
Additionally, Patriach Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has
sent an official message of greeting to those attending it. His Holiness cited
with approval the aim of the Summit which is:

“…to defend
traditional family values and to analyze the world’s demographic problems…[it]
stands up for inviolability of human life, it speaks out against abortions,
so-called same sex ‘marriages,’ euthanasia, drug addiction and
alcoholism.”

In
response, the World Congress of Families International Secretary Dr Allan
Carlson stated that they were honoured by the Patriach’s support and that the Summit
will hopefully “make an important contribution to the cause of the natural family
worldwide.”

The choice of Russia as the venue for the Summit is no
coincidence.  As World Congress of
Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs noted:

“Russia is ground-zero for demographic
winter…Russia’s population has declined from 148.5 million in 1995 to 143
million today. Some demographers believe it could fall below 120 million by
mid-point in this century. Adding to the tragedy, it’s estimated that there are
4 million abortions a year in Russia, and only 1.7 million live births.”

It is great to see events such as this standing up against the
prevailing cultural tides and proclaiming its support for human dignity.  I hope that the Summit is a huge success and
look forward to reading what comes out of it.