We hear a lot of rhetoric about overpopulation," said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute. "But the real problem facing nations around the world is the decline of birthrates. The problem even has a name -- Demographic Winter."
Crouse was a featured speaker at the Moscow Demographic Summit held at the Russian State Social University on June 29-30. "In Russia the problem is particularly acute," said Crouse. "They are losing an estimated 700,000 people each year. This first demographic summit is important because revitalizing the family is the key to reversing the disastrous consequences of the birth dearth around the world."
The Summit was put together by the World Congress of Families (WCF) to raise awareness about demographic winter. Other speakers included Anna Zaborska, member of the EU Parliament, WCF President Dr. Allan Carlson, and Ambassador Alan Keyes from the U.S.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Duma both expressed their support for the Summit.
Yelena B. Mizulina, chairwoman of the Duma's Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs sent a letter of welcome to participants. The letter read, "The issues discussed at the Summit - consolidation of the family, raising moral standards, and studying all the factors contributing to a higher birth rate and lower mortality rate - are very important for our times and require close attention of society as a whole."
The Summit participants, who represented 65 countries, released a declaration calling on governments everywhere to adopt pro-family demographic policies. Translated from Russian, the Declaration read, "We express our deep concern about the dangers of the approaching worldwide depopulation…We call on the governments of all nations and on international institutions to develop immediately a pro-family demographic policy and to adopt a special international pro-family strategy and action plan aimed at…averting the menace of depopulation… We call on public associations, religious communities, entrepreneurs, media workers, and all people of good will to get involved in combating the…threats that destroy family and marriage."
Crouse said, "If the current toxic cultural values prevail in the technologically advanced nations -- like the U.S. and Russia -- so that we continue failing to reproduce in adequate numbers to replace ourselves, future generations will look back in condemnation for our failure to consider the consequences of our selfishness."