A recent discussion of the Russian demographic crisis on Russia's top talk show.
- People don't understand that the Church offers them actual salvation because, in 30 years, you'll be cleaning Chinese boots, and work as taxi drivers just like our nobility did in Paris during a certain historical period. Our dukes and counts spoke several languages but couldn't find a better job. I could imagine the job those who'll be lucky to survive will have.
- You're an optimist. You have a pretty optimistic worldview.
- Well, I’m an informed optimist. Our population is falling. We're approaching another demographic crisis. Our replacement rate will soon be 1.2-1.3 again. We'll be losing a million people per year, despite all calls to resurrect the Russian family. It should be seven or eight children on an average. On average! Mendeleev (the famous scientist), for example, was the 17th child. That's how it should be. Yes, some families may not have kids but we need a high average, otherwise, we won't survive. We won't even preserve our 140-million population by 2100. You see?
- That's quite sad, Father Dmitry.
- I'm sorry, but that's the truth. Sometimes, the truth is bitter. And it's not just the task of the President. Every Russian should do his part if he wants his grandkids inherit Russia and not some other state with some other people. As soon as we grow weak the country will plunge into demonic chaos.
- So one shouldn't underestimate the role of the Church?
- The Church plays a key role. I was reading lectures in the General Staff Academy when a General approached me. He said: "Now I see that nobody cares about us except for the Church. True patriotism is found only inside the church." Because the Church is the guardian of Russian history.
Dmitry Smirnov is one of the best known priests in Russia and has a very large following. He is ubiquitous on television, radio, and YouTube, where his videos frequently get 100s of 1000s of views on his channel. (Russian only).
He is a brilliant public speaker and excellent at debate, known for his sharp wit and quick comebacks. He is especially loved for his sermons, which are all on his YouTube channel, and is by far the most popular preacher in Russia.
He is a leading Russian anti-abortion activist, very outspoken in his criticism of LGBT, and an advocate of home-schooling. He heads the Russian Church's Committee for Family, Motherhood, and Children, and loudly insists that Russians start having large families of four or more children, or else they will be overrun by Moslems.
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