Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Orthodox Church Defends Anti-Abortion Petition

Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has defended his support for a total ban on abortion and contraception as "not political." 

Patriarch Kirill signed a petition calling for the ban on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

The petition, which was compiled by protest groups “For Life” and “Orthodox Volunteers,”  had been approved by a patriarchal commission on family, motherhood and children, the church said in a statement.

The Patriarch signed the petition “as a citizen and a priest,” Church Synod External Relations spokesperson Vladimir Legoid told Interfax. “Any priest would have signed the appeal,” he said.

Legoid maintained that Kirill's decision to sign the petition was in no way a political move, although the church had "an extremely negative stance" on the issue. 

He also denied an earlier statement made by Kirill’s press secretary, Alexander Volkov, who claimed the Patriarch had signed a document against the inclusion of abortion services as part of Russian state medical insurance.

Russia's supreme mufti later also came out in support of the petition, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The controversy has put a spot light on Russia's increasingly conservative stance on family issues.

In another move which dismayed Russian activists, the county's State Duma officially came out in support of legislation to ban baby box schemes on Wednesday,. 

The law, which was put forward by the deputy head of the country’s Federation Council, Elena Mizulina, would end the 19 baby box projects around the country.

The controversial scheme allows parents to anonymously and legally leave babies in incubator-like enclosures if they wished to give them up for adoption without the perceived social stigma.

The Russian government claims that the boxes violate the United Nations convention on the rights of the child.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more