Mother of God’s Belt comes to Russia to help reverse population decline

SOMETHING has to be done to reverse Russia’s shrinking population – described here as “a matter of national security” – and religious and political leaders, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are hoping that the Belt of the Virgin Mary will solve the problem.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin puts on a solemn face for Mary’s belt

In October Putin travelled to St Petersburg airport to receive the relic,  AKA The Belt of the Mother of God, which arrived from Greece. The relic is a highly revered Orthodox piece of antiquity credited with fertility-boosting powers, and clerics said they hoped it would help more Russian women become mothers.

The influential Russian Orthodox Church is actively promoting motherhood to help the government curtail a population decline, and church officials in several cities took the thing to pregnancy centres that counsel women contemplating an abortion.

Father Kirill, a spokesman for the Saint Petersburg diocese said:

This event is of huge significance especially when it comes to strengthening people’s faith.

Well, the belt has now reached Moscow, and according to The New York Times, thousand are braving the cold to venerate the belt. As of yesterday, 285,000 believers had seen the relic at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which has been open around the clock.

The benefactor of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which is responsible for the belt being in Russia, is Vladimir Yakunin, President of the Russian Railroads, who is close to Putin. At a news conference Yakunin said the belt — usually kept at the Vatopedi Monastery on the Mount Athos peninsula in northern Greece, where ironically women are not permitted — was known for promoting fertility.

The belt of the Most Holy Virgin Mary possesses miraculous power. It helps women and helps in childbirth. In our demographic situation, this is … important.


49 responses to “Mother of God’s Belt comes to Russia to help reverse population decline”

  1. The Woggler says:

    “The influential Russian Orthodox Church is actively promoting motherhood to help the government curtail a population decline…”

    Yes, I can see how that might work.

  2. Harry says:

    Is it actually good on a microeconomic scale for a woman to become a mother in Russia though? Sure on a macro it’s good for Russia, but if becoming a mother makes things hard then belts won’t change people’s minds.

  3. chrsbol says:

    Maybe the Greeks could try tightening their belts for once instead of venerating them.

  4. Brian Jordan says:

    Have Russian women physiologically low fertility, or just a disinclination to breed? Either way, are they trying to attract a holy ghost to warm things up? They’d have a better chance of attracting some of our excess population.

  5. Atheist4Life says:

    All this proves is that religious groups don’t give a shit that the earth’s population is 7 billion (I wonder what the population would be if religion didn’t have a moronic view on contraeptives) and that it will be religion that will cause our early extinction due to over population. I think the reason why Russia’s population is declining is that so many people are leaving it and of course people leaves their home country for various reasons.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Putin is a cynical bastard: he doesn’t believe a word of this bunkum. He is just tapping into the inherent tribalism and superstition of ignorant people to enhance his popularity and promote the cult of personality (“plus ca change”…). Sadly, like the Chinese leadership, he is now in a position to tell the West to fuck off and take their human rights and environmental concerns with them. What a comedown since the Reagan/Gorbachev era!

  7. john c says:

    Russia’s poulation declining? send them some of their gangsters back, we seem to be overrun with them.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    And how, exactly, do they know this is the ‘mother of god’s belt’? Did she write her name on the back of it in biro?

  9. David Anderson says:

    Just a mimute, God has a mother? Therefor…..

    @chrsbol +1

  10. AngieRS says:

    Sheer muppetry. When in doubt, reach for a relic, never mind improving the lot of your population with decent health care and nutrition.

  11. barriejohn says:

    David Anderson: The comical thing about the so-called Virgin Birth is that, as humans have XY sex-determining chromosomes, the result of parthenogenesis would have to be female. No wonder Jesus wore a frock and hung out with twelve guys!

  12. Broga says:

    Putin is struggling to keep a straight face.

    Atheist4Life speaks to my condition as our Quaker brethern say. 7 billion population and still heading upwards. I am as environmentally friendly/active as I can be but the game is lost. My efforts, and those like me, are no more than going through the motions. Polluted and barren sees, one species a day going extinct, vast areas of the earth with poisonous atmosphere, ruined forests, melting ice etc. Add to that a Pope gone beserk about population, no political leadership and the vast majority of the world population don’t give a toss. Short term hedonism rules OK.

    We cannot win this battle because we cannot change the attitudes of the most destructive pest on the planet – us. That species is ready to slaughter the great apes for bushmeat; wipe out sharks for shark fin soup; kill the great whales. And all the time cling to the fantasy that every last human is precious, beloved of god or some other bollocks. In fact, the “mind diseased by religion” of the majority in the USA is that global warming is a myth and that humans are entitled to rape and pillage the planet because god gave it to us.

  13. Normand says:

    Maybe if they check it carefully they might find a Made in China tag somewhere.

  14. Ivan says:

    Wouldn’t the Belt of the Virgin Mary would be a chastity belt? Counter-productive, surely?

  15. Reginald Selkirk says:

    Meanwhile, in Tatarstan:
    World’s biggest Koran lands in Russia

  16. barriejohn says:

    I agree with Broga: the battle was lost long ago, and we are going through the motions now. Few politicians look further than the next election. When I was a boy the earth’s population was about two and a half billion, and it was clear then that its exponential growth was soon going to cause problems, but Catholics in particular set their faces firmly against any moves to control this juggernaut, and just look at the consequences. For them to claim that they are somehow endowed with “divine wisdom” is beyond a joke!

  17. Atheist4Life says:

    I guess the best thing to do is hope that scientists can prove parallel universes exist so we can invent technology to travel to one so we can get out of this universe and let the religious morons do whatever they want cause we will create a much better society in another universe. If other universes do exist there must bound to be one that religion doesn’t exist at all or at least the term religion is different so as a result there isn’t many problems at all.

  18. L.Long says:

    Save time and money and buy a bunch of POWER BANDs for all the ladies and gents, they are cheaper, more numerous and will work just as well!

  19. ZombieHunter says:

    @ atheist4 life

    Better yet we could go and terraform mars or something and leave the religious and the superstitious behind on this rock while we all go make a fresh start on things.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    Broga – completely agree. I think it was in The Matrix that one of the characters likened humans to a virus. Just about summed it up for me.

  21. chrsbol says:

    @David Anderson I thought you’d like this.
    Some years ago a small rural town in Italy twinned with a similar town in Greece..

    The Mayor of the Greek first visited the Italian town. The Italian mayor hosted him.
    He was impressed not so much with the hospitality as with the mayor’s mansion. That
    curiosity led him to ask how he managed to build such a grand place.
    The Italian said; “You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant
    to build a two-lane bridge. I thought about it then built a single lane bridge with
    traffic lights at either end. The money saved helped build this house”.

    The following year the Italian returned the visit to the Greek town. He was simply amazed at the Greek Mayor’s house. It looked like the Parthenon. Corinthian columns, mosaic floors, marble staircases, chandeliers, gold taps, the lot.
    When he asked how this could be afforded the Greek pointed blankly outside & said;
    “You see that bridge over there?”
    The Italian replied; “No.”

  22. gill. Kerry says:

    Hopefully when they open that box, all hell, ( sic) breaks out, like an Indiana Jones film

  23. barriejohn says:

    I was wondering to myself whether the belt was used in some sort of sado-masochistic activity, and whether that was the reason why it would be an aid to sexual activity. Maybe Mary liked to be chased around the village and spanked, before a hot session in the sack with Joseph!

  24. Don says:


    Why worry? We have enough to last us until Jesus returns in his shining glory. Once we are gathered home the planet is redundant No man knoweth the hour, but it will definitely be before the fossil fuel runs out.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Thanks for that, Don. You’ve really put our minds at rest! Why didn’t someone mention that fact sooner?

  26. Stonyground says:

    I am truly saddened by the fact that there are still people who will ‘venerate’ a piece of worthless crap because someone that they respect has told them that it is important. I am saddened that there are people living in a world full of potential who spend their whole lives as children.

    Those of you who are depressed by the doom laden prophesies of the greens should perhaps familiarise yourselves with the doom laden prophesies that the same kind of people were making fifty years ago.

  27. David Anderson says:

    @ chrsbol; Thanks, I enjoyed that. Many a true word.

  28. The Fog Horn says:

    It is true that when religion fails, the birth rate fails with it. Unfortunately, God was just a volcano so even though preaching religion could save Russia (and the rest of Europe), I couldn’t endorse it.

    The truth is often stranger than fiction.

  29. Har Davids says:

    The fact that many people cling to religion in all its absurdity only shows that we are really not much smarter than the rest of the animals on this planet.

    And according to the bible, Mary only had one child, biologically not even her own, so how is this holy belt going to influence women’s fertility?

  30. elainek123 says:

    Is Putin working towards this growth, gives him an excuse to have sex I guess, trying to increase the worlds population. More taxes coming in for governments.
    I would like to know what the women think of this..

  31. Broga says:

    @Don: That’s all very well but these guys in the USA keep getting the dates of the Rapture wrong. The result is people sell up, money gone, and they are still here. Can’t they get a computer to work on these biblical facts so we can be confident of the information. We know that if it is in the bible, nothing less than god’s word, the bible must be right. The contractions are a test of faith. The more incredible the greater the test of faith. Any dumbass can believe what is obvious. It takes a genius dumbass to believe the bible.

  32. AgentCormac says:

    @ chrsbol

    Great joke!

  33. Sabbag says:

    Man with finger on nuclear button looks in reverance upon a belt, supposedly worn by the mother of Jesus (aka God) which by some unexplained process will bring fertility to the Russian people…….scary.

  34. Stonyground says:

    Can I be OT this far down the thread? Breaking news is that David Cameron and Micheal Gove think that it would be a terrific idea to send a King James Bible to every school in the country at taxpayers expense. Well why not, the cost will be negligible in the big scheme of things and not one single schoolkid will read the effing things anyway. It just worries me that our country is being run by people who are really really stupid.

  35. Broga says:

    @Stonyground: They won’t read it but it is the thought that counts. Just shows how far out of touch they are with what kids read in the age of texts and emails. I wonder if they have been got at by our unelected House of Lords bishops.

  36. David Anderson says:

    @Stonyground & Broga:

    Not only that but the idiot Michael Gove thinks the KJV needs a forword by him and is quoted as saying that the KJV is “The most important book written in the English language.” Obviously this dipshit didn’t have much of an education in British literature.

  37. Don says:

    You know what schools need more than a bible? Well, obviously many things but specifically a remote-controlled helium-filled flying shark and clown fish. I bought them for our school a couple of weeks ago and they have improved the place no end.

    Besides, every school already has a bible, for those who are interested.

  38. AgentCormac says:

    The NSS is on the case. And I completely agree with their call that the government should be sending copies of ‘On the Origin of Species’ to every school instead of a book that is, at best, a collection of superstitious lies.

  39. TNiksa says:

    He put on a solemn face, you think he would have put on a tie too. Some people have no style.

  40. mikespeir says:

    Some kind of aphrodisiac, is it?

  41. Marky Mark says:

    So…the virgin Mary has a belt now…first I heard of that!
    I think Putin would be better off, and have much more success if he encouraged the wearing of sexy underwear by the female population of his country…but that is a logical answer to his problem.

    I’m sure that the promise of a good future for their children would be helpful as well, as I think many are leaving because of the poor living conditions there…

  42. Stonyground says:

    The Rev. Dr. Peter Hearty is lampooning David Cameron over at his blog.

  43. Buffy says:

    What population decline? There are 7 billion people and counting on the planet.

  44. […] Russia to help reverse population decline" The Freethinker The Voice of Atheism since 1881 has featured  the news that Vladamir Putin, prime minister of Russia, received the Belt of the Mother of God […]

  45. Ex Patriot says:

    It was probqably made in China and sold at Wal-Mart or some such place. Actually thee is nor real proof that she of he ever existed, just some stories from the holy book of mythology

  46. […] was on my mind this morning when I read in John Smeaton’s blog that the most recent headlines of The Freethinker (“The voice of atheism since 1881?) state: “Mother of God’s Belt comes to Russia to help […]

  47. 1859 says:

    What hit me in the face was – here’s the leader of the once mighty Soviet Union whose communist founder Lenin wrote ‘religion is the opium of the masses’, looking so, so fucking phoney, sad and pious, gulping down yet more opium and venerating a ….what?… A BELT!!!
    Had it been a tampon of the mother of god I might have had more sympathy…wait a bit..being a virgin she can’t have ovulated…this is confusing….so I can see why taking the opium is so attractive…no thoughts…no questions… doubts….CAN SOMEONE PLEASE DIG UP LENIN!!!!!!

  48. Kevin says:

    I’m an Orthodox Christian and being also English I naturally have a deep suspicion of organised veneration of alleged relics. There’s more than a bit of mediaeval superstition here. Yes, I did once study the Reformation in some depth!

    I think it’s sad that Patriarch Kirill and the Moscow Patriarchate can traipse this old piece of cloth around Russia rather than actually preach the Gospel’s message of liberation and joy.

    The problem is that the Russian Orthodox Church has freely enslaved itself to the Russian State as if the 1917 Revolution had never happened.

    And Moscow is a city of 12 million people and only 300,000 turn out for this once in a lifetime event, that’s 2.5% of the population – hardly suggests that Orthodoxy is making any real impact on Russians.