From Russia with Love
Babette Francis - ONLINE Opinion, 28 May 2013
The World Congress of Families (WCF) held in Sydney in mid-May provided a veritable feast of talks by some of the world's most articulate speakers on pro-life and pro-family issues. This is the seventh WCF, it has become the premier event on the pro-family circuit. Previous Congresses have been held in Prague, Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam and Madrid. The next one will be in Moscow in September 2014, to be held in the Kremlin - would you believe it - that is why I was particularly intrigued by the ironies in the presentation by Malofeev Konstantin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Basil the Great Foundation in the Russian Federation.
St. Basil the Great Foundation is one of the largest private charity foundations in Russia, it had a budget of over US$42 million in 2012. Projects include a charity program aimed at improving the socio-demographic situation in Russian regions and helping orphans.
Konstantin's presentation entitled "A New Global Pro-Family Alliance" contrasting the situation in the West with that of the USSR in the 1980s, or as his graphic illustrated, Christians vs Communism. Konstantin said in the 1980s the West supported Christian values, religious freedom with resonsibility, had a moral compass and "ordered liberty", while supporting free market policies, human rights, a relatively free mass media and world stability. 50% of Americans attended church weekly.
By contrast in the USSR there was anti-Christian propaganda and militant atheism. By 1939, 78,000 churches had been destroyed and only 100 churches remained open - for 170 million people. 200,000 priests and monks were killed in Gulags. All 1253 monasteries were closed down by 1939. The USSR was a revolutionizing force in the world, a totalitarian "evil empire" disseminating mass propaganda with no free speech.
A role reversal
Konstantinthen contrasted the situation of the 1980s with that in 2010: In the West there were attacks on religious freedom, a "war" on Christmas, atheistic education curricula, political correctness censorship, radical LGBT ideology imposed, ll countries recognized same-sex "marriage" and others are expected to follow.
However, in 2010 in Russia there has been a Christian revival, unprecedented in world history since the Iconography of the 9th Century. The Communist Party monopoly is banned, 80% of the population is baptized, 23,000 new churches have been built, there are religious classes in schools, LGBT propaganda is legally banned, and Russia promotes Natural family values at the UN.
The Russian delegation at WCF 7 were also distributing a booklet entitled "Sanctity of Motherhood- Russian National Program" with a foreword by Vladmir Putin, president of the Russian Federation. Putin is motivated by the urgency of reversing the populaton decline in Russia.
Malofeev Konstantin has an action plan for 2013-2014:
* SafeInternet for children and adults: Currently the internet is used to spread pornography, pedophilia, drugs, terrorism. The best practice would be to promote the Safe Internet League (Russia plus dozens of other countries). The World Congress of Families 7 incorporated a principle to this effect in its Declaration at the conclusion of the Sydney Congress.
* Buildnew family friendly global social networks including news, conservative TV Channels in the EU, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (which include countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia). Also aim for a conservastive "Wikipedia", conservative "Facebook", conservative search engine, a culture-wise family movie-guide launched globally, ratings of family-friendly businesses, a Christian content aggregation of thousands of websites (Aleteia.org) and a political activism platform (CitizenGO).
* Reinforcejoint pro-family lobbying efforts at the international and national levels
Konstantin concluded by pointing out that "There are 2.2 billion Christians and over l.5 billion families in the world. We are the largest group on earth. So let's unite and act now!" He and his colleagues are planning for the World Congress of Families VIII in the Kremlin for 5000 people from 80 countries, September l0-12, 2014. He says "Now Christian Russia can help liberate the West from the new liberal anti-Christian totalitarianism of political correctness, gender ideology, mass-media censorship and neo-marxist dogma." This last mentioned item is the most delicious irony - Russia liberating the West from neo-marxist dogma – but as Konstantin concluded "Pro-Family Conservatives of the World Unite! And Welcome to Russia".