Moscow, April 3, 2017
Demographic studies predict that the population of Greece will decrease by 500,000-1,000,000 over the next twenty years, according to the report of one Greek hierarch at a recent conference in Athens.
The population of Greece will drop to 8 million by 2030, according to experts, while the population of neighboring Turkey will reach 100 million, and that of Albania 16 million. “We are faced with a national catastrophe,” Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias remarked in his report, “The Church’s View on the Demographic Problem,” according to AgionOros.ru.
The main cause of the demographic collapse is the drop in the birth rate. “Financial incentives are certainly necessary,” to deal with this drop, according to the metropolitan, “but the long experience of the Church shows that the demographic problem has its basis primarily in spiritual causes.”
According to the bishop, among the main factors in the decline in fertility are the continuous and systematic belittling of the sacred institution of the family, the psychological and intellectual immaturity of society, the frighteningly large number of abortions in Greece, the seeming well-being in which several generations were raised, the devaluation of motherhood, the desacralization of man, and the relativistic approach to faith in God.
Metropolitan Ignatius spoke about the Greek Orthodox Church’s initiatives designed to facilitate the resolution of the demographic crisis: since 1999 the Church has paid a cash benefit for the birth of a third child in the Thrace region, provides free kindergartens in every diocese and parent-organized schools, and renders significant financial aid to families.
In conclusion, the metropolitan declared, “Demographics are a huge national problem which threatens the existence of Greece. We must act before it’s too late.”