MOSCOW: The Orthodox Church in Russia has called on women to refrain from abortions in an effort to help alleviate the demographic problem of the country.
"Give birth to the child and hand it over to us, the Church, and we will do everything we can to raise it and get it on its feet," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said in a video address on Thursday.
"We are a big country and we need to become more," said the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
One way to do this, he said, is to have fewer abortions, reports dpa news agency.
Recently, President Vladimir Putin called for more help for families.
He sees low incomes as an obstacle to more children being born.
Last year, Russia's population shrank by half a million to 146.2 million, partly because of the many deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. IANS