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On 26-27 November 2015, the 4th Forum held within the framework of the All-Russian Programme “The Sanctity of Motherhood” on the theme “The Centuries-Old Family Traditions as the Foundation of Russia’s Future” takes place in the capital of Tatarstan. The meeting is sponsored by St Andrew the First-Called Foundation and the Centre of National Glory.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for external Church Relations, sent the following greeting to the participants:

Dear organizers, participants and guests of the Forum:

I am happy to greet all of you who have gathered in the capital of Tatarstan to discuss a theme so urgent for today, “The Centuries-Old Family Traditions as the Foundation of Russia’s Future.”

Regrettably, the values of the family and marriage are under the great threat in the modern world. We see the unprecedented transformation of not only the role and place of the family in society, but of the very meaning of family ties. Men and women more often began to take the family as a burden which hampers their carefree life without obligations and responsibility.

Yet it is a healthy, strong family with many children is a foundation and pledge of the future of our beloved Motherland. We must learn to appreciate the family, motherhood, fatherhood, and the sacred gift of life from conception to death.

Our direct responsibility is to defend the life of children, including those yet unborn ones. All human beings are entitled to be born, and nobody can have a right to kill children, the more so one’s own children. It is necessary to develop in society a strong rejection of abortions, the horrible and sinful crime. At the same time one should not rely on prohibitive ne\measures only. It is necessary to develop a family support programme that will make the child-birth not only desirable for the young married couples, but prestigious and profitable.

I am deeply convinced that we need a wide public coalition uniting traditional religious confession, society and the state for the defence of the family values, and purity and sanctity of marriage.

I wish all the participants interesting and fruitful discussions.