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Author Topic: Population decline in Russia  (Read 1540 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan Lauffer
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« on: April 28, 2003, 10:40:52 PM »

Friends,

Do you think Orthodoxy will eventually have a positive effect upon the declining birth rate and the inclining death rate due to alcoholism.  I.e., is Orthodoxy in Russia a strong enough influence in Russia to benefit the society?

"Russia Suffers from a Terminal Health Crisis"

Granted, recent health statistics from Russia are shocking. Male life expectancy plummeted from 64 to 57 years between 1989 and 1994, and the country’s population is dropping by more than 500,000 people a year. The population decline has two causes. The first is low birth rates, which are common throughout Europe. The other cause is high death rates. The population pyramid is badly skewed because there were so few births in 1930-45 due to government terror and war, and the large age group born before 1930 is now dying.

According to the most recent United Nations projections, Russia’s population decline—28 percent through 2050—will not be drastically worse than that in parts of Western Europe. The main causes of the drop in male life expectancy are cardiovascular disease and accidents, partly fueled by alcoholism. Nothing suggests that health care standards in Russia have fallen. The quality of health care is closely linked to infant mortality, which plunged 17 percent between 1993 and 1998. Public and private spending on health has risen sharply as a share of GDP. Capitalism has made medicines widely available that were unknown during the Soviet era, and hospital equipment has greatly improved.

Yet the proliferation of illicit drugs and AIDS, both of which are inevitable consequences of becoming an open society, is cause for genuine concern. Another worry is tuberculosis—a new drug-resistant strain of the disease is particularly troubling. Moreover, because the health care system remains predominantly public, it suffers from low salaries, low efficiency, and widespread bribery.

http://www.worldbank.org/html/prddr/trans/JulAugSep01/pgs13-15.htm

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2003, 09:19:19 AM »

Is Orthodoxy still a force in Russian culture and can it still turn Russia around morally and populationwise? Not having been there so I can't accurately say, I won't say it's probable but it's still possible.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2003, 12:27:28 PM »

I lived in Russia for a short while, and my wife is Russian.

My impression is that Orthodoxy is viewed by many if not most Russians as a kind of heritage/historical thing that has only a peripheral impact on their lives. They enjoy the "Russian-ness" of Orthodoxy and the pomp and ceremony, but most of the Russians I know are secularists whose attitudes were formed by the education they received under the Soviets.

The Russian population decline, in my humble opinion, is largely a function of the terrible state of the Russian economy. There aren't enough good jobs to go around, and the people who do have jobs are often not paid for months on end.

When women become pregnant in Russia the pregnancy frequently ends in the murder of the unborn infant (abortion). My impression of the average Russian attitude toward abortion is that it is chillingly nonchalant and matter-of-fact.

I also think that much of the alcoholism in Russia is directly related to the bad economy and the feeling of insecurity it engenders.

These are merely my impressions and not the result of any extensive study or of taking sophisticated surveys.

If you want to understand the state of things in modern Russia, just show up at the American Embassy in Moscow early in the morning and watch the long line of Russians begin to form, a line of people who are trying to get into the United States any way they can.

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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2003, 12:50:19 PM »

Quote
My impression is that Orthodoxy is viewed by many if not most Russians as a kind of heritage/historical thing that has only a peripheral impact on their lives. They enjoy the "Russian-ness" of Orthodoxy and the pomp and ceremony, but most of the Russians I know are secularists whose attitudes were formed by the education they received under the Soviets.


Pretty much the same impression I got from what a late-'80s immigrant friend told me.
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Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2003, 06:24:16 PM »

That's my impression as well.  Ok, here's a question you may not like.  If Orthodoxy has lost its grip upon Russia why the big complaint against Catholics or Protestants going into evangelize the country?  If Orthodoxy can't or won't do the work needed let others do it.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2003, 06:32:49 PM »

A few thoughts:

- One of the problems is that the Orthodox Church in Russia is now experiencing freedom, only to be suddenly ran over by 1,001 other sects, churches, and religions.

- Most Catholic Countries (and Christian countries in general) are similar to how Russia is: the religion has more of a cultural than spiritual significance. Perhaps they should work on these areas first rather than invading Orthodox countries? (by this I am speaking from a Russian perspective.. it seems like they are being invaded by foreign belief systems). It's no suprise that "Christian" countries like America (with 50% Protestants and 25% Catholics) is actually viewed as the largest missionary field in the world.

- I submit that very very very very few empires, nations, etc. were ever "Christian" in their entirety. Reading the Church Fathers, one realises that even during the "golden ages" or periods where many saints were alive, the laity in general were apathetic at best. Even when 15% of the population of cities were made up of monks, violence and hate still reigned. For Russia to have problems doesn't seem like a news to me, it seems like a new version of the same old problem that we must find a new solution to.

- The Roman empire was experiencing heavy population losses, both before and after Constantine... but God's will cannot be stopped by we humans. Smiley That's what is important.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2003, 06:34:46 PM by Paradosis » Logged
Linus7
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2003, 07:16:57 PM »

Quote
I submit that very very very very few empires, nations, etc. were ever "Christian" in their entirety. Reading the Church Fathers, one realises that even during the "golden ages" or periods where many saints were alive, the laity in general were apathetic at best. Even when 15% of the population of cities were made up of monks, violence and hate still reigned. For Russia to have problems doesn't seem like a news to me, it seems like a new version of the same old problem that we must find a new solution to.

Entirely correct, IMO.

One must also remember that the Church was suppressed during the 70+ year reign of the Bolsheviks. The Russians are "recovering Bolsheviks."

Give them a chance. They may yet recover the spiritual aspects of their great heritage and produce some more Seraphims of Sarov, etc.

Some folks I know in Russia believe that their country will never fully recover until Lenin's body is removed from Red Square.

Maybe they're right.
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Linus7
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2003, 09:57:00 PM »

That's my impression as well.  Ok, here's a question you may not like.  If Orthodoxy has lost its grip upon Russia why the big complaint against Catholics or Protestants going into evangelize the country?  If Orthodoxy can't or won't do the work needed let others do it.

Dan Lauffer

Orthodoxy is working hard in Russia. It will take awhile to eradicate the Bolshevik poison.

Why the big complaint against RCs and Protestants evangelizing the country?

Because RCism and Protestantism are wrong, that's why.
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The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
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