UOC hierarch names the reasons for demographic crisis in Ukraine

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka. Photo: Information Center of the UOC

In the opinion of Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, the decline in welfare is not at all to blame for the decline in the population of Ukraine.

Ukrainians may soon disappear from the map of the peoples of Europe, if serious decisions are not taken to maintain family values, said Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis and head of the UOC Representation to European International Organizations.

“In three months of 2018, 8,655 children were born in Kiev, at the beginning of 2019 – 7,892 babies, while in January-March 2020 – 7,624 children,” Vladyka wrote in his Telegram channel. “It’s not hard to guess there will be similar numbers in Ukraine as a whole, since the birth rate throughout the country is significantly falling.”

According to the bishop, the cause of the demographic crisis is not at all in welfare. For example, the birth rate grew in the post-war years, and now it is at a high level in economically challenged countries in Africa.

Vladyka Victor believes that the decline in the birth rate is determined by such factors as "growing selfishness" and the desire to "take everything from life." In addition, an important role in this problem is played by the fact that having a multi-children family is no longer common in the world.

“This is how they live in European countries, where the demographic level is now below any norms necessary to preserve the nation,” Vladyka wrote.

However, the hierarch believes that the main factor in the decline in the birth rate is a low level of religiosity, and, accordingly, failure to fulfill the commandments of God.

“It has long been noticed that where faith in God is strong, there are large families and family values are at their best,” Vladyka noted. “On the contrary, the lack of faith in God is almost always equal to the destruction of the family. Of course, this does not mean that the state is not responsible for the birth rate of children. Certainly, the state is not only responsible but can and should influence the demography. The development of special benefits for women in childbirth, material assistance to mothers, large families, young people who have just started a family, as high as possible benefits for those who have more than three children – all this is available in demography-conscious countries. Unfortunately, Ukraine does not belong to such states yet.”

Bishop Victor summed up that believers should understand: having children means following the commandments of the Lord God, rather than statistics or "demography".

As the UOJ reported, over the past 30 years, the number of marriages in Ukraine has decreased three times.

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