World Congress of Families Heading For Georgia

From Christian Newswire:

Patriarch Ilia II, head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, who has been called “the most trusted man in Georgia,” gave his blessing to World Congress of Families and will give the keynote address at World Congress of Families X – Civilization at The Crossroads: The Natural Family as the Bulwark of Freedom and Human Values— in Tbilisi (May 15-18, 2016, www.worldcongress.ge).

…Tbilisi 2016 will be the first World Congress of Families in the Eurasian and Caucasus region (on the Old Silk Road to China) and the first in an Orthodox country.  WCF X conferences and concerts will be held in multiple venues in Tbilisi including the opening ceremony in Tbilisi’s State Philharmonic Concert Hall and the closing ceremony in the historic Rustaveli National Theatre. 

Further details about the event are available on the World Congress of Families website, including a quote from one of the local organizers:

…Levan Vasadze, Chairman of the Georgian Committee for WCF X commented, “We Georgians are honored and humbled by this great opportunity and privilege to host World Congress of Families X. As one of the oldest Christian nations on earth, we think this will be a refreshing opportunity for me and my fellow Georgians to meet Westerners (unlike those sent to Tbilisi by George Soros) who affirm human rights for all persons from conception to natural death but also defend the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness found in the Natural Family as the fundamental and only sustainable unit of society.”

The WCF Local Organizing Committee for WCF Georgia 2016 includes Levan Vasadze (Georgian business owner, rugby player, education leader, and philanthropist), Tinatin Khorbaladze, and other leaders from the Georgian Demographic Society.

The World Congress of Families, based in Rockford, Illinois, has been a focus of controversy for some time, due to its anti-gay stance and its links with Russia – issues I looked at in 2014.

Vasadze is close to Georgia’s president, Giorgi Margvelashvili. Several of Vasadze’s quotes appear in a report from the Media Diversity Institute, which describes his rhetoric as “ethno-centric and clearly anti-Western”:

“This war, the burning of the center of Kiev – was not it done by Americans?! Victoria Nuland was distributing sweet loafs to the opposition in the center of Kiev… Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine is the result of the coup d’etat staged by the Americans in Kiev.” ( Reaktsia, 13 February, Interpressnews and Geworld.ge, Reportiori, 14 February, 2015)

“The hurry and undemocratic nature of the adoption of anti-discrimination law has finalized the dictatorship of the Western liberalism in Georgia… The West has made the fatal mistake by proclaiming immorality to be a norm.” (Kviris Palitra, 20 January, 2015)

“Is our country independent or is it an insignificant republic which is still run by ambassadors and non-governmental organizations financed by the West? The West needs Georgia in this region very much, perhaps to no lesser degree than Georgia needs the West.” (Kviris Palitra, 7-13 April, 2014)

“By the way, I absolutely agree with the statements of Irakli Garibashvili many of the foreign-financed NGOs are enemies of the country.” (Kviris Palitra, 20 January, 2015)

A profile in a magazine called Tabula has more of the same:

Central to Vasadze’s rhetoric is the criticism of the West and Georgia’s pro-Western orientation. In his rhetoric the West is perverted; Americans believe in Masons and money instead of god; Catholics are enemies of Orthodox Christians, whilst Protestants do not deserve to be called Christians at all. The recognition of our territorial integrity by the West, in Vasadze’s rhetoric, is prompted only by the West’s desire to “capture” Georgia, whilst Georgia’s pro-Western policy is tantamount to the reflex of a Pavlovian dog. At the same time, for some unknown reason, Vasadze’s does not vent his ire towards Russia – a country which, by its social and cultural features, can hardly be regarded as more traditional than Western countries in any way. Even more, in his opinion the “co-religionist Russians are our allies both culturally and spiritually, not enemies.” Vasadze disapproves of excessive criticism of the absolutely anti-Christian Soviet Union too. True, he admits that the communists were bad guys, but then hails the greatest achievements of that totalitarian regime and is happy that Georgians were “viewed as a respected nation” on the vast Eurasian space in Soviet times.

At the same time, Levan Vasadze dislikes liberal democracy and is quite eloquent when describing the uselessness and evils of this political system. This is compounded by his xenophobic reasoning about the ethnic origins of certain politicians and his demands that the “regime” of the United National Movement be “brought to justice.”

However, he is critical of the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and Samachablo.

The  Georgian Demographic Society appears to be the same body as the Demographic Renaissance Foundation of Georgia; the Georgian Journal reported in 2013:

Businessman Levan Vasadze will lead the Supervising Board of the Demographic Renaissance Foundation of Georgia, founders Dimitri Khundadze and Tamar Chiburdanidze announced at a presentation of board members at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on July 16.

…Khundadze said the United Nations forecast had indicated Georgia’s population would decrease by 28 per cent by 2050, placing the Georgian gene pool under threat. The Foundation announced it wished to provide financial support for families for their third child – the determining factor for the population’s size – and planned to carry out a regional policy on the matter as well as open anti-abortion and pregnancy centers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *