In a world of increasing hostility to the family, the World Congress of Families—flagship project of the International Organization for the Family—continues to be a bastion. “Defenders of the family from around the globe,” declared IOF’s honorary board member President Dallin H. Oaks, “must come together at the World Congress of Families to restore the family as the first social institution and as the center of civilization in all places.”
That the family needs defending at all is a remarkable fact that would have shocked the wise drafters of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, who expressly acknowledged that “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” Over a hundred countries followed suit by including similar provisions in their national constitutions.
While such documents continue to bear witness to the immutable truth about the family, society now finds itself in a pitched battle to defend that truth. “Marriage and the family are in crisis,” declared Pope Francis. “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings.”
In the words of President Russell M. Nelson, “On all sides, the family is under attack. Many wonder if the institution is no longer needed. Our response is certain. If there is any hope for the future of nations, that hope resides in the family.” He was speaking at our World Congress of Families, by far the largest and most influential pro-family gathering on earth.
First held in Prague in 1997, the World Congress of Families has since reconvened in Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Madrid, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Tbilisi, Budapest, Chisinau, and Verona. Now, after a brief hiatus occasioned by the pandemic, it is set to return to Mexico City this fall, offering an unparalleled opportunity to learn, share, network, and plan.
Distinguished colleagues from around the world call the World Congress of Families “the preeminent global gathering of scholars, policy-makers, and activists who care about the natural family” (Austin Ruse, President of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute), and “a resurgence in the global battle for the defense of the natural family” (Errol Naidoo, CEO of South Africa’s Family Policy Institute). “The opportunity afforded by the World Congress of Families to network with the top leaders of pro-family activities worldwide is very empowering” (Christine de Marcellus Vollmer, President of Latin American Alliance for the Family).
To our World Congress in Tbilisi, Georgia, U.S. President George W. Bush sent this message: “I commend your efforts to recognize the importance of families in building nations. Your work improves many lives and makes the world better.” No wonder that some nations have even sponsored the World Congress, as did Moldova and as did Hungary, whose Katalin Novák—now serving as its president—explained why: “Family is the cradle and maintainer of life, and it is our duty to protect and strengthen it…. For the Hungarian government, family is the foundation stone for our choice of values and the guideline for our political decisions.”
Never has the world needed the World Congress of Families as urgently as now. We cordially invite you to join us on September 30 through October 2 in Mexico City to defend what historian Will Durant called “the ultimate foundation of every civilization known to history”—the family. For more information and registration, please visit https://wcfmexico.org/.