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“Our commitment for the family”
Alexey Komov (Family Commission of the Orthodox Church) explained the pro-life activity and the promotion of the institution of marriage
Representative of the World Congress of Families in Russia and at the United Nations, leader of the rights defense group FamilyPolicy.ru in Russia, member of the Commission for the Family of the Russian Orthodox Church: Alexey Komov has held all of these challenging positions for the promotion of the family institution. Danka Jaceckova interviewed him for SIR Europe on the protection of life and the family in Russia.
How could the situation in the area of the defence of life, the family, and natural values in Russia be best described?
“Over the past years we have adopted a set of provisions and laws in support of the values of the family and birth. For example, for every second child the State grants the equivalent of 10 thousand dollars to the family. Every publicity on abortion is forbidden. In fact, almost two years ago was adopted a law that prohibits aggressive propaganda of the homosexual lifestyle of those under 18. But it should be underlined that gays are not persecuted in our country. All the campaigns to demonize Russia are spread by the LGBT lobbies that defend all non-heterosexual orientations. These are strong pressure groups that exert a strong control on international politics. As relates to voluntary abortions, under communism Russia became the first world country that made them legal. This brought other negative effects, such as uncontested divorce. I’m glad to say that over the past decades there have been some improvements, for example, the demographic situation in the country, thanks to efforts made at various levels, has improved. The number of abortions in Russia have decreased five-fold over the past 25 years: from four million a year to less than 700 thousand today. However, there is still much work to be done”.
You are the president of an influential think-tank: FamilyPolicy.ru. Which are your main areas of interest and the results you have achieved?
“We cooperate in the adoption of fair legislation in Russia at international level, even at the United Nations. I am the ambassador of the World Congress for the Families at the UN, where many unpleasant things happen, but where there is also a strong resistance and a movement in defence of family values. It can be said that Russia and the Vatican are the main defenders of natural values, of human life and of its dignity at the United Nations, which is also rather symbolic. Our think-tank, FamilyPolicy.ru produces reflections on new bills, proposes amendments to laws, provides analyses on various issues. The more qualified and skilled experts are on our side, the better it is. Only by referring to experts can we penetrate various levels of civil society and be respected in our claims”.
To what extent are Christian Churches involved in opinion-making processes regarding pro-life and pro-family issues?
“They are very much involved. We are witnessing a miracle, after 70 years of persecution. In the past 25 years, over thirty thousand new churches have been built in Russia. Many youths come to church, which is something beautiful. Approximately 70% of the overall population are members of the Orthodox Catholic Church, 2% are Catholic and a remaining 2% are Protestant. Patriarch Kirill and the other Church leaders actively support the pro-life and pro-family movement. I work in the commission set up by the Patriarch for the Family, which is the equivalent of the dycastery of Msgr. Paglia in the Vatican. My responsibilities involve international relations and the head of this commission, archpriest Dimitryi Smirnov, is like a godfather of our pro-life movement, which has gained considerable force”.
You mentioned the participation of all Christian Churches in the pro-life and pro-family movements in Russia. It appears that the protection of natural values has a strong ecumenical dimension…
“Yes, absolutely. We are encouraged by the social doctrine of the Russian Orthodox Church to actively cooperate with our Christian brothers and sisters in the area of protection of life, of the family, of traditional values and of social projects. And obviously, we should develop all of this in the future, because we are under attack on the part of various negative tendencies. We should act in close cooperation in defense of our common values”.
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