This year the meeting, organized by St Andrew the First-Called Foundation and the Centre of National Glory, focuses on the Centuries-Old Family Traditions as the Foundation of Russia’s Future.”
The meeting has brought together over seven hundred delegates from Russia and other countries, representing the governmental authorities, research centres, higher education institutions, public and religious organizations, and youth groups.
Among those who took part in the meeting were Metropolitan Feofan of Kazan and Tatarstan; Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia); Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, chairman of the Patriarchal Commission on Family, Motherhood and Childhood; Archpriest Nikolai Sokolov, dean of the Missionary Faculty of St Tikhon’s Orthodox University; Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, Secretary for Far Abroad Countries of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; and Deacon Andrei Titushkin, a staff member of the Department for Church-Society Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov read out a message of greetings from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
In their addresses, the participants in the meeting expressed their concern over the problems facing Russia in its endeavours to ensure the increase in population and improve families’ quality of life. The challenges include a high abortion and divorce rate. As was emphasized during the meeting, the government and public institutions and organizations should provide comprehensive support to large families in order to ensure sustainable development of society and the wellbeing of the people.
The forum will continue its work on November 27.