Russia: Values Are Seen as Essential for Healthy Families
By Jack Corley, FFWPU Eastern Europe
The fourth international conference on “Universal Values and Healthy Families as the Basis for Peace and Development” was held on September 20 and 21 in Moscow.
The participants, including town mayors and other officials, came from Latvia, Moldova and Russia to the FFWPU Eastern Europe regional headquarters. Russia was represented by participants from the Leningrad and Pskov Oblasts (Regions), the Ural Federal District, and the Russian Republics of Bashkortostan, Karelia, and Kalmykia.
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) organized the two- day program in partnership with Universal Peace Federation (UPF).
On the first day of the conference, the participants heard presentations that described the importance of universal values as the foundation for strong and happy families. The regional president of FFWPU for Eastern Europe, Mr. Jack Corley, emphasized that the traditional family is a school of love and peace.
Through relations in the family, he said, we grow spiritually and develop our ability to love not only our family members but also all people as members of a large extended family.
Elena Bychkova from Latvia spoke about the need to join forces in support of the traditional family. In Latvia, she said, such support is almost impossible to receive, either from the state or society. She called on all the attendees to work hard and appreciate the fact that in Moldova and Russia the state provides support to traditional families.
The head of the Ural Region chapter of FFWPU, Andrei Burashnov, emphasized that all conflicts and problems in society are rooted in the absence of true love in the family. He was supported by Natalia Akkay from the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, the founder of the first rehabilitation center in the capital, Elista, for women and children affected by domestic violence. She emphasized that only strong and happy families can put an end to this problem.
Active personal communication continued during the breaks. In the evening, the participants traveled to the center of Moscow to take a walk in Red Square.
On the second day there was a very interesting presentation by Maria Nazarova, the leader of UPF for Russia, about the life and accomplishments of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, the co-founders of FFWPU and UPF. The founders’ lives have been filled with true love for God, for each other, and for all humanity, Mrs. Nazarova said.
She also mentioned a special event to be held in Seoul, Korea, in February 2020, related to the 100th anniversary of Rev. Moon’s birth. UPF will hold the Global Peace Summit, as well as conferences for parliamentarians, religious leaders, scientists, representatives of the media and business.
The conference included a roundtable that discussed solutions to social problems in specific villages or towns. Participants divided into five groups to discuss practical solutions for family and youth problems—in particular, divorce, domestic violence and alcohol addiction—and suggestions for increasing the number of marriages and the birth rate.
The last part of the event was devoted to the key program of the Family Federation – the Family Festival, in which couples could confirm their marriage vows and renew relations in their family. Aleksey Saveliev, the FFWPU regional vice president for Eastern Europe, emphasized that couples who have completed all five steps of the process of renewing love in their family will lay the foundation for creating strong and happy families. This will serve as the beginning of establishing a culture of living for the sake of others, which is the foundation for becoming a prosperous society, he said.
The conference resulted in agreements between the Family Federation and the mayors and other officials on holding Family Festivals in their towns and villages, as well as plans for working meetings in October and November to draw up a roadmap for each of the five groups.