An international meeting of pro-life advocates from 20 countries was held in January 28-30, 2012 in the Polish city of Częstochowa, where the Black Madonna of Częstochowa—an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary—is currently housed. This icon is higly revered both by Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
Among participnats, there were pro-life representatives from Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, UK, and the U.S.
The main reason that gathered almost 50 promoters of protection for unborn children was the first phase of preparing for the prolife-campaign entitled “From ocean to ocean." This ambitious campaign against abortion will be held for the first time in history and will last at least several months.
The preliminary date for the start is July/August, 2012.
The campaign’s slogan: “The East and West in defense of life!”
The international coordinators: Ewa Kowalewska (Poland) and Igor Beloborodov (Russia).
The organizers plan to carry out a Cross Procession in the form of a car rally from the Pacific Ocean (Vladivostok) to Madrid and then to the Atlantic coast (Fátima, Portugal). The route of the car rally will run through the territory of more than twenty countries.
On the way through Russia nad Europe, the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa (which on the initiative of Russian and Polish pro-lifers will come to Russia in the nearest future) will be in the lead of the prolife motorcade.
One of the goals of the campaign is to support countries that have pro-life oriented legislation—Hungary and Poland, which faced agressive political pressure from the European Parliament and other anti-family institutions. In these countries, and in Russia as well, the Częstochowa icon will stay for a little longer time.
The meeting organizer Ewa Kowalewska welcomed and thanked the participants, and added that many people could not come: “Our numerous team is not all pro-life activists who will join our action.”
Ewa Kowalewska also said:
“This meeting is a miracle. We did not expect the preparing of such a global project would go so fast. I’m sure, Our Lady is helping us.”
The idea of the “From Ocean to Ocean” campaign belongs to Russian pro-life advocate Igor Beloborodov (Moscow). In his speech, he described the experience of such events in Russia and CIS countries and encouraged proactive participating in the project.
A presentation made by Orthodox priests from Belarus and Ukraine had a great effect on the audience. Fr. Pavel Serdyuk (Minsk) and Fr. Vladislav Sofiychuk (Kiev) spoke about the experience of their pro-life organizations and also emphasized the importance of the Częstochowa icon for three brotherly nations—Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarussian.
It is important that the initiative for the international campaign in defense of life has come from Russia. Russia was the first to legalize abortion, now it should be among the first to fight against this evil.