2,300 candles lit in memory of victims of abortion in Russian heartland

Purekh, Nizny Novgorod Province, Russia, May 11, 2018

Photo: vk.com Photo: vk.com

Orthodox faithful and activists of the “For Life!” Orthodox pro-life movement came together on Monday in the village of Purekh in the Nizny Novgorod Province of Russia to light more than 2,000 candles in memory of and as a prayer for children who have lost their lives to the horror of abortion, the movement reports on its Vkontake social media page.

2,300 abortions are performed daily in Russia according to official statistics.

A similar event was held in Moscow in January.

Photo: vk.com Photo: vk.com

The event was held at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in the village of Purekh, known for its lifegiving cross. After meeting the “For Life and the Family 2018” procession, the faithful went to pray at the Divine Liturgy headed by His Grace Bishop Varnava of Vyksa and Pavlovo.

The procession extends overall from St. Petersburg to Ekaterinburg, including 98 villages, towns, and cities along the way. The march will cover nearly 1,700 miles in four months, with pro-life events accompanying the procession at several of the stops.

Photo: vk.com Photo: vk.com

The activists and local faithful began lighting the thousands of candles after the completion of the Divine Liturgy. Representatives of the Vyksa Diocese’s “Care” social organization and volunteers from the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese’s “Mercy” service took part in the demonstration.

The event was followed by a press conference in which Bp. Varnava, the local regional head, the head of the “For Life!” chapter, and the dean of the local deanery Archpriest Roman Sosinovich answered questions about demographics in the Vyksa Diocese and this year’s procession and candle-lighting event.

The Vyska Diocese has been working with “For Life!” since 2012, and in that time more than 600 precious children have been saved from abortion, and the number of abortions in the city of Vyksa has decreased by almost half, Bp. Varnava reported.

Photo: vk.com Photo: vk.com

There were 850,000 abortions in Russia in 2016 according to official statistics, and in 2017 President Putin announced that the mortality rate had again exceeded the birth rate.

“Today we held a demonstration with candles in a tiny Russian village, lighting 2,300 candles—the number of abortions per day. Approximately 1,500 people live in this settlement, which is less than those killed in a day by abortion in Russian. The heartland is dying out, Russia is dying out, and we persistently maintain ultra-liberal legislation in the field of artificial terminations of pregnancy,” commented Sergey Chesnokov, the “For Life!” coordinator.

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