Abortion Advocates Vandalize Office of Organizer of European Pro-Life Conference
by Steven Ertelt
August 3, 2009
Amsterdam, Netherlands (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates have vandalized the offices of the company that a collection of pro-life groups have contracted with to put on an international pro-life conference in Europe. Despite the incident, backers of the World Congress of Families plan to move ahead with their event next week.
Conference organizers tell LifeNews.com that Amsterdam offices of EuroCongress were vandalized and damaged last Thursday.
EuroCongress is the professional conference organizer for World Congress of Families V, which will be held at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam starting on August 10.
Vandals defaced and damaged the outside of the EuroCongress building by smearing paint and writing various obscenities and anti-Christian slogans.
Simon Polinder, the Dutch chairman of the international pro-life event, told LifeNews.com, "This is really outrageous. We are organizing an international family congress, with which we intend to bring attention to the positive value of the family."
"This group evidently disagrees with that goal. Apparently they are not able to enter into a civilized conversation with us," he said of those who engaged in the vandalism and property damage.
World Congress of Families managing director Larry Jacobs also weighed in on the incident.
"In 12 years of doing international pro- family Congresses – from Mexico City to Warsaw – this is the first time we’ve encountered this sort of violence," Jacobs said.
"We know our opponents disagree with us on a broad range of issues," including abortion and euthanasia, he said. "What’s amazing is that these anti-family activists believe they have a right to engage in criminal acts of vandalism in an effort to intimidate those attending World Congress of Families V."
"This isn’t the first indication we’ve had of radical opposition to" the event, Jacobs added.
"The group Autonomous Feminist Action – which calls the Congress a group of "fundamentalistic (sic.) Christians who ‘will plead for going back to the Christian traditions of traditional relationship between man and woman (sic.)’ – has held organizing meetings against the Congress," Jacobs explained.
Jacobs pledged that the pro-life advocates involved in the event "will not be intimidated by these uncivilized, criminal tactics."
"Pro-family scholars, legislators and activists from over 50 countries will attend the Amsterdam Congress. This latest outrage makes it more important than ever to broadcast a positive, hopeful message of the centrality of the natural family to the heart of the European Union," he told LifeNews.com.
Speakers at the event include scholars and leaders with Catholic, Islamic, Protestant and secular backgrounds.
The Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, the President of the Pakistan Family Forum, the Archbishop of Utrecht, the former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Executive Director of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia represent a sample of the religious diversity at the Congress.
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