The Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for Charity has finished receiving applications for the “creation of new Church humanitarian aid centers to help women on the verge of abortion” contest. Funds for the establishment of new centers of humanitarian aid were raised with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in all churches of Russia the day before the celebration of the Day for the Protection of Children, reports the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry.

Announcing the all-Church fundraising program, the primate of the ROC noted that one of the main steps for reducing abortion rates is comprehensive help for women in difficult life situations. “I feel certain that one of the key measures for overcoming this problem is the timely and comprehensive assistance to women who are in difficult life situations. The Church is taking a very active part in solving this question by establishing specialized homes and humanitarian centers to which pregnant women and mothers with children can appeal for material support and other kinds of aid,” the message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia read out in all churches of Russia on May 29 reads.

In all, 38 million rubles were collected by the all-Church fundraising program. In order to distribute the funds raised, the Synodal Department for Charity announced an open competition and sixty-one applications were received from different dioceses within Russia. The applications were sent from major cities, such as Khabarovsk, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Omsk, as well as from small towns, such as Severobaykalsk in the Buryat Republic, Biysk in the Altai territory, Sayansk in the Irkutsk region, Orsk in the Orenburg region, Gatchina in the Leningrad region, and Pereslavl-Zalesskiy in the Yaroslavl region.

Over the past five years forty-five new homes for women in crisis situations, from Kaliningrad to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, have been opened in Russia with the participation of the Church. At the present time there are over sixty Church humanitarian aid centers in which those in need can gratuitously receive clothes, hygiene products, baby carriages, cribs and other items; there are dozens of Church centers for the protection of motherhood; and in a number of regions the Church has been involved in organizing the work of pre-abortion counseling by psychologists and social workers in maternity clinics.

According to statistics, clothing and food aid to women often contributes to preventing abortions or the refusal of children. It is estimated that 1,552 women in twenty-three cities changed their mind and did not have abortions thanks to guaranteed clothing and food aid.

 Translated by Dmitry Lapa