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February 6, 2015 ( — Slovakia will hold a referendum to define the family this Saturday. According to a pastoral letter disseminated by the Slovak Catholic Bishops Conference, the faithful are highly encouraged to participate in the February 7 referendum in order to protect generations of the country’s family and children.

“Children are our hope for the future,” the bishops’ letter stated. “Not every generation is given a chance to decide about the future of its homeland. We stand face to face with challenge to express our attitude towards the key values of life.”

Participation testifies about the truth and dignity of the human person. The bishops expressed their concerns on the issue of how families’ children will be raised and what legal incentives will challenge moral and cultural traditions through the power of the State.

The pastoral letter warns parents and grandparents about the seriousness of defending the family for future generations:

Can we watch somebody deforming their personality and sexuality, violating their knowledge of responsibility in future marital relations? Parents long for children and grandchildren. Are we going to prefer sexual education for children and youth focusing on the prevention of conception to responsible and loving parenthood?

The referendum, initiated by the Alliance for Family, presents “an intense fight for conscience,” said Danka Jaceckova of Forum of Life, an affiliate of Human Life International. “Participating in the first referendum in the history of Slovakia that is initiated by citizens, represents a significant step towards the support of democracy and freedom of expression in Slovakia.”

Reprinted with permission from Human Life International.