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   Good News Update 65                                                                 22 May 2013

 World Congress of Families VII Releases Declaration
 
 
Dear
  

World Congress of Families VII  
held for 3 days in Sydney last week attracted over 500 visitors from around the world. This superbly organised event had as its theme: 
 
Happy Families,  
Healthy Economy. 
 
Over a hundred excellent presenters showed how the natural family is so vital to national prosperity and social progress.  
Over eighty pro-life and pro-family groups set up booths, tables and posters
in 
Bay 4 of the Locomotive Workshops 
at Redfern, a unique venue for this historic Congress. 
.
 
   
Thank you
Watch this 1.52 min video about the Congress.

 

The World Congress of Families (WCF), according to its mission statement, "affirms, defends and promotes the natural family as the lifelong union of a man and woman through marriage". Dr. Allan Carlson, the founder and current General Secretary, initiated the WCF on the basis of Article 16c of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says, "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state".   

  

The WCF, founded in 1997, seeks to build an alliance of pro-family organisations and orthodox believers of different faiths to defend the natural family as the foundation of civilisation. And so the Canberra Declaration with its stated focus on "the long-standing institution of the natural family resulting from marriage between a man and a woman" was a participant setting up a booth alongside those of many other pro-life and pro-family organizations from around the world. 

  

The WCF has been held previously in Prague, Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam and Madrid. These gatherings are said to be the largest-ever gatherings of pro-family leaders in academia, education, politics, business, medicine, media, culture, religion and law. As such many WCF gatherings meet with resistance from those who oppose its aims. Prior to this most recent WCF, Sydney politician Alex Greenwich demanded that the Congress comply with strict state anti-discrimination legislation claiming that some guest speakers might be hateful extremists who would spout off their ridiculous thoughts and views on the gay and lesbian community. Greenwich was a former National Convener of Australian Marriage Equality which promotes same-sex marriage. Chairwoman of the Australian Organizing Committee, Mrs Mary-Louise Fowler said there would be no vilification at the event.   


Among those addressing this WCF were high caliber international and local scholars, politicians, religious leaders, parenting and family practitioners, educators, business people, and film and media experts. Though these speakers, the leaders of pro-family groups and other participants represented a variety of worldviews, the Christian worldview was most prevalent. An important part of the Congress was the networking achieved through lively interaction and mutual encouragement.

 

Australian presenters at the Congress included Cardinal George Pell, journalist Angela Shanahan, economist Ian Harper, former deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, lobbyist Dr David Philips, trauma counselor Anne Lastman, medical doctors David van Gend and Roland von Marburg, Rabbi Shimon Cowen, social commentator Bill Meuhlenberg, mining engineer Peter Meurs, Professor Patrick Parkinson and others. During the Congress it was announced that the next Australian Ambassadors for Marriage would be Warwick and Alison Marsh, of Dads4Kids and the Canberra Declaration. 


Over and over we heard how modern day research very clearly shows that the intact natural family with a loving father and mother is proven to be best by far for the raising and development of children. Yet so many of our social elites and fellow citizens vigorously oppose this. How can this be?


While scientific research and reasoned argument certainly are vital, we as Christians know we need to overcome evil in the world with the help of God. We read in God's Word that "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers" 
(2 Corinthians 4:4). And so from the Canberra Declaration booth we featured the annual National Day of Prayer and Fasting because we believe prayer is ultimately the way to open people's eyes to the truth and so turn back the tide and overcome evil in the world. A number of visitors to our booth shared that they too were coming to the conclusion that prayer is what is needed at this point in history.


Some highlights of the Congress related to youth and young adults. Tongan youth choirs opened and closed the congress with beautiful singing. On Thursday we heard from a young man who has been involved in the recent on-going phenomena of mega-rallies in France with
up to 1.4 million protesting in one location the government's decision to allow same-sex marriage because it denies a child both a mother and a father. 

 

On the Friday night there was a world premiere of 'Beyond the Hiding Place'. This moving story is about teenage youth who became part of the Dutch Resistance helping Jewish refugees escape the Nazis in World War II. Finally there was a Youth Culture Forum on Saturday. Let us pray that today's youth will be stirred with a passion to protect human life and the natural family.

 

In the closing session a Declaration of WCF Sydney 2013 was read out by Dr. Allan Carlson and received unanimous endorsement in support of the natural family and a better future for our children (see the Declaration below).

   

ACTION: Please prayerfully consider sending this to your local and federal MP and Senators urging them to be mindful of the importance of the natural family as the building block for a healthy, harmonious and prosperous society. Please send it on to church leaders or any others you feel would benefit. Thank you.

  

(Use these links to download a copy of the Declaration and find the email addresses of your MPs and Senators.)  

 

Finally the WCF banner was presented to the Russian team who are preparing for the WCF VIII to be held in the Kremlin in Moscow in Sept 2014. As we think back to the concerted prayer from around the world that helped bring down atheistic communism in Russia, let us too cry out to God to rescue marriages and families in order to build healthy societies and economies in Australia and around the world.  

 

Yours for happy families and healthy economies,

 

David Rowsome and Warwick Marsh

 

ARTICLE TITLE
Declaration of World Congress of Families VII

Australian Technology Park, Sydney

May 18, 2013

Read by Dr. Allan Carlson, Founder and General Secretary of WCF

We, the delegates of the World Congress of Families VII, assembled in Sydney Australia, this 18 May 2013 affirm that the sustained prosperity and happiness of nations rests on the foundation of strong natural families.

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by every nation on earth, states that "men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family ... The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State." (Article 16.1, 16.3)

In agreement with earlier World Congresses and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we hold that the natural family is the basic unit on which human societies are built and is the best environment for the moral, social and emotional development of children.

The natural family is the most efficient way of nurturing and educating children, of looking after the health and welfare of its members, of creating a vital domestic economy, of building cohesive communities, and of extending a compassionate hand to individuals and households, whatever their situation.

We affirm that the productive economy is sustained by strong families, which reliably shape the virtues needed for healthy economic exchange. Social and economic research overwhelmingly demonstrates that children born into stable loving homes have the best prospects for growing into healthy, intelligent, creative and morally grounded adults. On average, they become the most productive and engaged citizens and are the least likely to become dependent on the welfare state.

Accordingly, we declare that a family-centred economy requires the following basic framework:

* The economy should serve the family rather than the family being a servant of the economic system and the state;  
* A strong domestic, household economy is a true measure of a healthy society and the basis of a robust economy; 
* Economic policies should enable families to hold productive property and to be independent of the welfare state;  
* Employers and governments need to respect the needs of natural families in their wage and labour policies;  
* Market policies should support and encourage entrepreneurial innovation, ensure low barriers of entry into small business, and guard against excessive concentration of economic power and financial instability; and 
* Family-owned businesses should be encouraged as part of a market economy.

Gross Domestic Product must be defined to include the economic value of unpaid work done in the home and the community by families, so that society can recognize the contribution of this form of labor.

Governments must pursue policies of affordable housing, particularly for young first home buyers.

From these principles, we also affirm: 
 
* Marriage is being the union of one man and one woman, voluntary entered into for life;  
* The protection of human life from conception to natural death;  
* The right of children to be raised by their biological parents, wherever possible;  
* That the root causes of hunger, poverty and environmental decay are the breakdown of the natural family and political and economic failures, not human "overpopulation";  
* That the real demographic dangers of the 21st century are ageing and declining populations: the world needs more, not fewer, children;  
* That the great opportunities for family friendly commerce, communication and education on the internet must be made safe from the destructive impacts of pornography and other harmful content at the national and international levels;  
* The concept of the family wage: wages, salary levels and taxation policy should reinforce natural family bonds; and  
* That the natural family is the surest guide for the economic and healthy development of all peoples, including the indigenous communities of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

This Congress appeals to policy makers, community leaders, the media and people everywhere to recognize that overwhelming research-based evidence demonstrates the importance of marriage and families to our society.

Adopted this day, by affirmation...
ARTICLE TITLE
Other Resources to help you 

 

Here is a preliminary list of resources made known through WCF VII:

Here are some Australian family seminars and courses advertised at WCF VII: 

The following are Australian WCF VII participants also concerned with one or more of the areas highlighted in the Canberra Declaration - Religious Freedom, Marriage and Family and the Sanctity of Human Life. 

You can also check these 3 websites associated with the Canberra Declaration.

  

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www.canberradeclaration.org.au
Protecting Our Australian Values 


P.O. Box 378
, Unanderra NSW 2526     info@canberradeclaration.org.au
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The Canberra Declaration is the work of many people and organisations. The administration of the initiative is being supported by the Australian Christian Values Institute and Australian Heart Ministries.

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