Eastern Europe

Russian Patriarch Calls For Ending Abortions To Halt Demographic Decline

Russian Patriarch Calls For Ending Abortions To Halt Demographic Decline
Patriarch Kirill I at the celebrations to mark the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Rus in 2018
Image by kremlin.ru

Russia’s problems with demographic decline are well documented as most ordinary Russians do not feel they can afford more than one child. The Kremlin’s repressive policies have halted economic growth and with it consumer confidence amongst the shrinking middle class.

Abortions have been very common since Soviet times as human life under communism was not held in very high regard. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) wants to change that.

Today, the head of the ROC, Patriarch Kirill, declared his support for ending abortion in the Russian Federation in order to combat the demographic problem.

Russia legalized abortion in 1955 and has the second-highest abortion rate in the world after China. While Russia’s anti-abortion movement has largely failed to change the law, it has gained momentum in recent years, spurred by the rise of the Orthodox Church as a powerful political force, reported The Moscow Times. With an estimated 1 million fewer abortions per year, he projected population numbers could reach 156 million in the next decade and 166 million in 20 years.

“We must first of all remove the topic of abortion to the extent that it exists,” Patriarch Kirill was quoted as saying at a pro-life event in Moscow on Sunday by Interfax.

Russia has the second highest abortion rate second to China with over one million procedures a year.

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