The International Forum Large Family and the Future of Humanity. Interview with Alexey Komov, Director of International Programs at “St Basil the Great” Foundation



Mr. Komov, how did you get the idea to organize this event?
It was four years ago, I thought that maybe there should be some good pro-family people in the West and I went to Colorado Springs for the executive committee meeting of the World Congress of Families, which is the largest international platform uniting hundreds of organizations in eighty countries of the world, defending natural family. And I proposed to make an event in Moscow. It took us four years. In the meanwhile we arranged the Demographic Summit “Family and the Future of Humankind”, in June 2011 in Moscow and then we were preparing this event.

We are very happy that it is happening on such a high level. We are today in “Christ the Savior” Cathedral, the largest cathedral of Russia, which was destroyed during the communist times and rebuilt even better with this beautiful hall, with almost 1.500 people. Yesterday we had a meeting in Kremlin and in the evening a beautiful concert in the main historic square.

I would say that such events happen maybe once in ten years or so and we are very happy that we had this. So it shows that family values are supported in Russia and we have support unlike many other countries, unfortunately, where those values are decreasing or under attack.

There were many families involved in this forum and festival yesterday. How did do you do it?
We have two large foundations in Russia, arranging this beautiful event: the charity foundation of “St Andrew, The-First-Called” Apostle and the Sanctity of Motherhood program, and the “St Brasil the Great” charity foundation. Those are the main organizations protecting family values in Russia. And it was a lot of organizational work. Through this Pan-Russian all-over-the-country program, we have contacts also among large families in different cities and we arranged a festival of large families, which took place yesterday and there were some awards. We are supporting as much as we can large families and we want to everyone have strong families so all our future societies is stable and good.

Which is your message for Romanian families?
My message to the families of Romania is that we, especially Orthodox countries with a close culture, should be the leaders in the world in protecting family values, because our region, Eastern-Europe had a combination of unique factors which we should take advantage of. First of all, we were protected, for good or for bad, from the sexual revolution of the 60s, drug revolution of the 60s. It was providential. There were many bad things happening under communism, of course, but God always has multidimensional plans.

So for this, Eastern Europe is seen now as the main hope for the whole European civilization and we see more and more that in more and more countries of our region, in Constitutions they passed amendments to guarantee marriage between man and woman, which happened in Croatia recently, but many other countries of this region also have it.

Secondly, having lived under communism, I think, our countries have a very clear feeling when some ideology is being imposed on us. So when we sense that this gender ideology, which is unnatural, unscientific or LGBT strange things are being imposed as a new ideology, our region is always ready to reject it. In America, in Western countries, people don’t have this immunity.

And for third, the most important factor is our Orthodox tradition, strong Christian tradition.

I think that all these three factors present a huge opportunity and Romania is in a very strong position to be also one of the leaders and I want to wish success to Romanian families and Doamne miluieste! (God bless! – ed. n.)

There were very many guests, religious leaders, many people from the administration, officials in the government. How did you manage to gather them all and how do the people who work in public administration see this pro-family policy?
In recent years, we have had many positive changes in Russia and those demographic and family policies are becoming to be in the center of public focus and many people in the government, authorities are supporting it more and more, but sometimes it is also hard, because bureaucracy is not always flexible or fast to react. So there is some support, but there is also a tendency to do it slowly. I would say we have some positive signs, but it is not ideal. So we should not idealize the situation.

And also I want to say that we had speaking here at the forum representatives of many different religious traditions, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church spoke yesterday in the Kremlin, also Metropolitan Hilarion, who is the head of Department of External Church Relations, father Dimitry Smirnov, who is the head of the patriarchal Commission on Family spoke and also we had messages from several Muslim leaders of Russia and Jewish leaders.

This is a really a common platform to unite people from different religions and from around the world. We had Americans, British, Ukrainian people, so this family platform really allows us to be above any political and geo-political differences, which is great!

Listen to the integral audio interview here.

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