MOSCOW, Russia, January 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Russian pro-lifers lit 2,000 candles last week at Moscow’s Vysokopetrovsky Monastery in a powerful cross-shaped memorial for the victims of “the terror of abortion.”
The national pro-life group “For Life!” chose the day the Orthodox Church commemorates the “Holy Innocents” slaughtered by King Herod in his attempt to assassinate the Messiah.
“There is a wave of events in defense of the life of unborn children every year on (Holy Innocents Day) in Russia,” For Life! coordinator Sergei Chesnokov said. “It is important to note that pro-family NGOs (crisis pregnancy centers) are not limited to educational work, but also provide comprehensive help to thousands of pregnant women in crisis situations.”
Chesnokov added that in the modern era, Christmas has been “emptied” of its sanctity of life message, “devoid of the tragedy and understanding of the fragility of newborn life.”
“It would be good for our people to recall that in the old days Nativity plays were held during these times, in which children and their parents could watch theatrical presentations of King Herod and the murdered Bethlehem infants,” he explained. “It was a unique preventive measure against infanticide, and very effective.”
Activists lit 2,000 candles because official statistics report that 2,000 abortions are committed every day in the country.
Communists liberalized abortion laws throughout the former Soviet Union. Abortion became so commonplace that it served many women as birth control. After the fall of communism, civil leaders and church hierarchy have had to re-educate the citizenry in their attempt to uproot the culture of death.
As a result, Russia remains among the world leaders in abortion per capita.
Members and leaders of the Orthodox Church have gained ground in pro-life opinion polls. The “For Life” organization announced last year that they had collected one million signatures in favor of banning abortion, including from Patriarch Kirill.
The percentage of Russians condemning abortion has tripled in the past 20 years from 12 percent to 35 percent of the population. Pro-life rallies often show signs saying “Children are not trash.”