Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II believes that Russian Orthodox believers have no grounds for refusing to participate in the coming all-Russian national census.
The Patriarch made this statement after the divine service in the Church of the Holy Archangel Michael near the Devichye Pole hospitals in Moscow, said the Church Scientific Center of the Russian Orthodox Church "The Orthodox Encyclopedia".
Giving comments on the rumors implying that Russian Orthodox believers should not participate in the national census, that have spread in the church circles, Alexis II stated that "those who were spreading rumors that one shouldn't take passports, participate in the national census were only confusing people's minds and souls." The head of the Russian Orthodox Church recalled that national censuses had been conducted all through the people's history. "Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, because Mother of God and righteous Joseph were to come to David's town - Bethlehem, the place David's family had come from, to take part in the census," the Patriarch said.
"What grounds do we have today to refuse to participate in the census? The questionnaires contain no questions that could embarrass a person." "All Russian people, no matter what nationality or religion they might belong to, must take part in the national census, because it is the common cause of the nation. We must know how many people live in Russia," the Patriarch stated.
The great power broke up, many Russian people found themselves in the former Soviet republics, that are currently independent states. We must find out how many of us, Russian people, live in this country. If somebody calls not to take part in the census, he deliberately wants the census results to be false. I believe that in fact, the national census will help us to realize our grandeur and the grandeur of Russia," Alexis II stressed.