Russian Duma creates committee to protect Christian values


Eastern Europe


The Russian Duma will have a special committee for moral issues. Photo AFP, Alexander Nemenov

The Duma, the Russian parliament, has created a committee to discuss ‘Christian’ problems, ranging from abortion to the schism between the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Church.

Already on December 28th, Russian news agency Interfax and Ria Novosti reported shortly on the creation of a working group to protect Christian values in Russia. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, gave his blessing for the committee. Deputy Speaker of the Duma, United Russia’s Pyotr Tolstoy, will be heading the group of around thirty MP’s.

State Duma deputy Sergey Gavrilov from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), confirmed the creation of an inter-party group in the Russian parliament to protect Christian values. The group contains representatives from all fractions, but the main participants are from the ruling United Russia party and, paradoxically, the Communists.

There are a lot of questions to tackle. Foremost the task of the committee is to protect spiritual and moral values and the foundations of Russian patriotism.


According to Gavrilov, there are some priority issues for the deputies to discuss: support for large families and the demography problem, humanitarian projects (including one in Syria), the church schism in Ukraine and peacekeeping. Also, the Duma deputies are interested in the issue of surrogate motherhood.

“There is a position that we should apply this (surrogacy, ed.) only to Russian citizens, to exclude exporting children. We, of course, criticise surrogate motherhood in general. Still, we want to find some compromise, just like in the issue of abortion for medical reasons, its withdrawal from the compulsory medical insurance system”, says Gavrilov.

Gavrilov says he discussed the topic of abortion with his party leader, Gennady Zyuganov, who supported him. “We believe that the current decline of the population forces us to support childbirth and exclude abortions for non-medical reasons. It is necessary to support young families, to stimulate large families. We still have an active promotion of abortion, childlessness or one child. I believe that the situation needs to be turned around.” Gavrilov made his remarks on Russian news site News.ru.


Gavrilov is convinced that propaganda of childlessness in Russia was carried out by the media and “foreign forces” looking for the “extinction of the Russian people”.

Surprisingly, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has spoken out favouring abortion in recent years, saying that in the “modern world, the decision is up to the women themselves”. According to the president, any attempts that suppress it would only make the practice move underground, causing more damage to women.

In 2020 though, Russia’s president ordered the Russian government to improve abortion prevention efforts as the demographic decline of the ethnic Russian people was worsening. One of the most challenging subjects of the committee for the protection of Christian values will be the banning of abortion from the government-funded ‘free’ medical insurance package. Some say the prohibition of free abortions will reduce abortion.

Liberal law

Russia has one of the world’s most liberal abortion laws, still stemming from the Soviet times, when abortions were part of feminist, communist ideology. Paradoxically it is now the Communist Party that is discussing banning it. For good reasons: the Russian population declined by almost half a million people in 2020.

According to official data, 22,000 abortions were performed in Russia’s hospitals. Critics say that this number is at least ten times higher. In fact, 215,000 pregnancies ended prematurely, citing “miscarriage” and “anomalies” as a reason. But often, this is just a pretext for performing abortions after the 12-week deadline. Many abortions are thus not officially reported.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.