In October 2023 the International Interreligious Youth Forum Was Held in the Regions of Russia

13 November 2023


Expert sessions were held on the basis of 53 coordination centres of the Ministry of Education of Russia. The attendees were young people of different cultures and confessions, and the experts were representatives of relevant government agencies and university professors1.

The central topic at the expert session held as part of the forum in Moscow on 24 October was the strengthening of traditional family values.

Traditional family values are one of the most important unifying factors in the multi-ethnic, multi-confessional society of the Russian state. Trends of decreasing number of marriages and increasing number of divorces are significantly alarming. Rosstat published statistical data on marriages and divorces in the period for 4 months of 2023 in Russia. According to it, the number of divorces per 1000 marriages was 795, while in 2022 it was 765 2. ‘According to VCIOM, the most common reasons for divorce Russians include poverty (33%), mutual misunderstanding (15%), infidelity of one of the partners (14%), domestic problems (10%), as well as incompatibility of characters (8%). Having emphasized the acuteness of the demographic problem in our country, experts drew attention to the importance of both socio-economic and educational measures aimed at forming a more responsible attitude towards family and marriage.’3

  It is important for young people to preserve traditional family values historically linked to spiritual and religious traditions. Modern Western culture is actively developing a trend to change approaches to the concept of the institution of family and marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and same-sex marriages are being legislated. It is worth emphasizing that the issues of family and marriage occupy an important place in all traditional religious communities in Russia.

The Fundamentals of the Social Concept of the Orthodox Church states, ‘The role of the family in the formation of the personality is exceptional and cannot be replaced by other social institutions. The destruction of family ties is inevitably associated with the violation of normal development of children and imposes a long, to some extent indelible imprint on their entire subsequent life.’4

Islam teaches that Allah created everything in complementary pairs and therefore men and women are of equal spiritual value. Their Lord answered them, ‘I will not suffer to be lost the work of any of you whether male or female. You proceed one from another (the Quran 3:195).5

It is necessary to combine the efforts of government agencies and religious institutions to disseminate traditional values of family relations and to create positive conditions for improving the demographic situation. The inclusion of these topics in the curricula of secular and religious educational organizations and the creation of information platforms to prevent the propaganda of ideas that destroy the spiritual foundations of the family and marriage deserve special attention.


________________________________________________________________________ (date of reference 10.10.23)
The Fundamentals of the Social Concept of the Orthodox Church //
5 Here and further the translation of the Quran is used (date of reference 17.10.23)




GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

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