09 April 2012, 10:05
Patriarch Kirill horrified by statistics of teenage suicides
Moscow, April 9, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sounded an alarm over the situation in Russian families, and suicide, alcohol and drug abuse rates among young people.
"The public is horrified by news reports of a young couple [in Bryansk] murdering their infant and then claiming that she had disappeared, which plunged the entire city and nation into deep distress. Then another news report came about a father killing his daughter only because she did not want to eat porridge," he said at a Friday session of the patriarchal commission for the protection of the family and motherhood.
All this news mixes with "horrible information about child suicides, the ease with which children and teenagers put an end to their lives," the Patriarch said.
"Without understanding that moral problems are rooted in the family, we won't succeed. We must clearly realize today that the talk of morality is not simply a flow of nice words, a refrain repeated in church sermons that is sometimes waived as something boring and even tiring. The church speaks of these things day after day and will not stop speaking," he said.
The Patriarch said that Russia faces the threat of extinction and loss of its national identity.
The Patriarch quoted statistics according to which there are almost 640 divorces per 1,215 marriages in Russia. In 2011, 1.814 million children were born and 1.23 million abortions performed (3.5-4 million according to unofficial sources). There are some 700,000 parentless children in Russia, most of whose parents are alive. Of these children, 10,000-11,000 were abandoned at maternity hospitals.
Teen suicides constitute 20% of all suicides. "We have never had such a horrible figure," the Patriarch said.
Out of the total number of suicides of minors, 62% are related to family conflicts, fear of violence from adults, conflicts with teachers or friends, and the indifference of near and dear ones.
Over 80% of teenagers use alcohol. Starting with the age of 13 33% of boys and 20% of girls use alcohol on a daily basis.