Friday, October 21, 2011

Andrei Arresting Demographic decline

The powers that be in Russia are only all to aware the threat that demographic decline poses to their country and are taking many steps to address it, including large cash grants to new mothers and cheaper mortgages for those raising families.

Now here's an excellent initiative that brings a smile to my face.
Russians have queued to see one of the most treasured Orthodox relics, believed to have miraculous powers to boost fertility, as the country struggles to reverse a population decline.

The relic on loan from Greece, that believers venerate as the belt of the Virgin Mary, arrived on Thursday afternoon in Russia's northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, where hundreds, mostly women, stood in line to pay their respects.

Arriving in Russia for the first time in its history, the relic will remain in the Russian imperial capital until Monday, after being flown from its home on Mount Athos in Greece

It will then be taken on a month-long tour across the country, with stops including the northern city of Norilsk, the Pacific port of Vladivostok, the western exclave city of Kaliningrad and Moscow.

Clerics said they hoped the relic would help more Russian women become mothers as the influential Russian Orthodox Church is actively promoting motherhood to help the government curtail a population decline.

Church officials in several cities plan to take the relic, whose full name is the Belt of the Mother of God, to pregnancy centres that counsel women contemplating an abortion, the church said.

And look who was there when the relic arrived in St. Petersburg - would that John Key would get behind such an initiative, if only.

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