Russians Need Large Families & Many Children to Save Russia's Future

"Without returning to the strong traditions of a large family with many children, we will not be able to preserve our fatherland . . ."

Our country is multinational; it is a large family. The land is our mother, and we — the people living in Russia — are brothers and sisters. But if we do not increase our average birthrates, then we will die out.  

If we could stop the current process — and to do this, there would need to be an average of five or six children in each family — then by the middle of the 21st century, about 170-175 million people would live in Russia. But if we do not change the current dynamics, then in the future the name "Russia" may disappear from the map of the world, and its people would risk losing their freedom and identity.

My great-grandfather, who lived by the Don river in the first third of the last century, was father to 13 children. This was despite the fact that their family was plundered four times by the Red Army, and he himself was shot. 

Nevertheless, five of his sons fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War (World War II). The eldest son — my grandfather — in 1943 became the father of his fifth child (and this wasn't his last). Then in the 30th year of my parents' life, despite the difficulties they faced living near the border, they conceived me — their fourth child.

My multicultural family is, on the one hand, my business card. On the other hand, according to its history, it can be seen that neither state guarantees, nor well-being, nor living standards are decisive in one of the most important choices for a Russian today — whether or not to have a family with many children. This choice determines our country's very opportunity to have a chance for the future.

A Russian hero, Yunus-bek Yevkurov — the President of the Republic of Ingushetia — speaks thus:

"Our family has five children, and it is not considered a big family." 

In Ingushetia villages, as a rule, families bring up eight to nine children.

Caucasian peoples in general have always fulfilled the commandment "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28). There are still such villages in Russia. In recent years, there has been encouraging growth in places like Yakutia, Chukotka, and in the republics of Buryatia and Tyva, Altai. This happens because peoples in certain regions of Russia have strong family traditions, which fortunately have not undergone significant changes. They have preserved a reverent attitude to parents and to the elders of the clan. We Slavs are happy for those peoples in Russia which preserve such traditions, but unfortunately we can not rejoice for ourselves, for the time being.

Meanwhile, I represent a region that was "fertile" 100-150 years ago on our map. The Ryazan families raised an average of 11 children, while in Russia this figure was 8-9, and in Europe 6-7. A similar magnitude was characteristic of us and the fortress of marriage. Families with 18-25 children were not considered a miracle or an exception. 

In the Russian Empire prior to the revolution, the population dynamics among the Orthodox population was 1.6 times higher than among representatives of other traditional religions. For the flourishing of our people, faith, religious traditions, and attitudes, some of the fundamental factors were the large number of children, the strength of the family, and the reliable future of our multi-ethnic fatherland. 

A certain Professor Ramzan Abdulatipov once was asked:

We know from history that there is not a single empire that would always be an empire. They fall apart ... Do you have any fears that the same North Caucasus can not be forever in the Russian Federation?

The professor replied:

Yes. There was a general trend around the world ... But at the same time, Russia had its own peculiarity - that each new territory was automatically included in the state ... I believe that the rather tough imperial, colonial policy was softened by the nature and culture, the spirituality of the Russian nation. 

Russian people, as a rule, came to the rescue. They developed an alphabet together, they formed the intelligentsia together. It seems to me that in Russia, if we had only limited ourselves to the formation of a common political space, we would have long since broken up into pieces. The fact is that there was a process of forming a single cultural space, a spiritual space. Thanks to this, we always kept to each other.

A friend of mine, an officer, told me that when he arrived on duty in Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates), a Negro taxi driver and an Arab hotel employee found out that he was from Russia, and said, "Russians! You hold on. Do not give up. We pray for you."

A few years ago a large number of Orthodox Christian people — bikers — organized a motor rally along the roads of Russia. They called it, "Fathers of Russia - for Large Families". One of its slogans was, "Give birth — the country is huge!"

At one point the participants met with an elderly Italian in Khabarovsk Territory, who had walked all over Russia. Hiking is his life's hobby. They asked the Italian what brought him to Russia, and he said,

"Russia is the last free country in the world."

This story was confirmed by Archbishop Michael of Mihdon (formerly from Geneva in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), who lived for many decades in Europe.

Once my fellow countryman, the famous "Uncle Vasya", a paratrooper, General Margelov said:

It does not matter what your skin color and eyes are, for enemies we are all Russians.

Last year, after my speech at the Stavropol Forum of the World Russian People's Council, representatives of the regional administration and the city, teachers of the local university approached me, but the first person who spoke to me was a Dagestani imam:

"You're right, Father," he said to me, "if it's bad for the Russian people, it will be bad for everyone."

Without unity of will and purpose, effort and potential, without returning to the strong traditions of a large family with many children, we will not be able to preserve our fatherland.

Source: (Russian)

Fr. Vitaly Rybakov

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