Minsk, November 15, 2018
The 6th annual Sanctity of Motherhood international forum opened in Minsk yesterday, aiming to discuss important issues of family, motherhood, and childhood.
The event, entitled “The Family in the Modern World: Value, Trends, and Prospects,” opened with more than 500 participants from around the world, reports Pro-Life Belarus.
Welcoming messages from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin were read out on the first day, both of whom noted the great work that the program carries out in helping those in need and in facilitating dialogue between politicians, public figures, and representatives of state organizations on topical issues of family protection, reports the site of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which launched the Sanctity of Motherhood initiative in 2006.
The Sanctity of Motherhood program is aimed at restoring the potential of the family as the fundamental societal institution. It includes social and psychological support for pregnant woman and young mothers who find themselves in difficult situations, educational work with youth, and activities promoting family values in the public consciousness and information space.
“We do not look at family care as just a means of solving the demographic problem. It is the family that ensures the handing on of all the best things accumulated by the experience of one generation to the next. For us, the family is a social institution and a spiritual value,” said Sanctity of Motherhood head Natalia Yakunina in her opening remarks.
His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and All Belarus also participated in the opening-day of the forum, calling abortion murder with oppressive consequences. The head of the Catholic Church in Belarus offered a similar reflection.
Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Commission on Family and the Protection of Motherhood and Childhood also spoke about the need to change the prevailing “abortive consciousness.”
Others addressed the issues of divorce and the legalization of same-sex marriage in various countries.
The forum continues today with participants from Belarus, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, China, the US, Iran, and Israel and work in 8 sections devoted to work with families, orphans, special children, support of motherhood, and so on.
The forum was organized by the St. Andrew Foundation and the Karic Brothers Foundation from Serbia, with the support of the Minsk City Executive Committee and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Belarus.
The St. Andrew Foundation also held a Sanctity of Motherhood competition in which it awarded $17,500 to the winners of the “Best female consultation,” “Best obstetrician-gynecologist,” “Best psychologist in pre-abortion counseling or specialist in social work,” and “Best educational activities for preserving pregnancy” categories.
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