Pro-Life Advocates Head to Amsterdam in August for World Congress of Families

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates Head to Amsterdam in August for World Congress of Families

by Austin Ruse
June 4, 2009 Note: Austin Ruse writes for the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, a pro-life organization that lobbies at the United Nations. This article originally appeared in their Friday Fax publication.

Amsterdam, Netherlands ( — Up to 4,000 social conservatives are expected to descend upon liberal Amsterdam, Netherlands, on August 10-12 for the biennial World Congress of Families, a meeting that brings together scholars, academics, policy makers, elected officials, and activists for four days of speeches, lectures, and networking.

The Netherlands beat out four other countries in its bid to host what is the largest gathering of social conservatives in the world. Russia, Bolivia, Latvia and Nigeria lost out after the Dutch proposal included support from the government though a promise the liberal government would not interfere with what will be a politically conservative program.

The roster for Amsterdam will include a who’s who of pro-life and pro-family leaders, including Wanda Franz of National Right to Life, Gwen Landolt of Real Women of Canada, Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, and Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defense Fund. The King of Ghana will also speak. [C-FAM is an event sponsor and Austin Ruse is on the planning committee and a speaker at the congress.]

The conference will address the influence of the media on the family, the role of faith and the churches, demographic winter, the United Nations and its effect on the unborn and the family, migration, HIV/Aids, the roles of mothers and fathers and many other topics.

The idea for a world congress of families sprung from conferences organized by noted pro-life leader Christine Vollmer in Europe during the 1990s. As she wound down her successful conference series, she turned to American family scholar and president of the Howard Center Allan Carlson, who has organized each of the successive congresses. The congress brings together policy makers, religious and political leaders, scholars and academics, and activists from all over the world.

Global social radicals consider the World Congress of Families to be among the most dangerous meetings of the year. Social radical leaders have written about it in numerous reports, articles and books. Far-left Members of the European Parliament tried to scuttle US government participation in the last Congress in Warsaw.

It is unclear at this time whether social radicals will demonstrate against the conference, but that is certainly a possibility when you bring so many members of the "Christian right" into what is among the world’s most liberal cities. Amsterdam is known for allowing and supporting open drug use, official sanction of prostitutes who present their wares in windows all over the center of the old city, support for the homosexual agenda and other issues at odds with tradition-minded people.

The Dutch tourist office was part of the group that presented to the selection committee causing one selection committee member to exclaim, “Do you know who we are? There is no other way to put this than we are the Christian right." The government official said that the Dutch government welcomes vigorous debate and that the Congress would be welcome. The Dutch government’s promise of non-interference with the event has so far been lived up to.

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