Russian Government Proposes Replacing Kindergartens with Churches

The Zdravomislie Foundation has sent an open letter to the government of the Russian Federation, to President Dmitry Medvedev personally, and to the administration of the city of Moscow and its mayor Sergei Sobyanin, regarding recent proposals to provide government funds to build new churches and the downgrading and defunding of kindergarten programs in the city of Moscow.


In order to understand why we wrote this letter we will give some examples of the latest events:

Example №1. A joint project of the Moscow city administration together with the Russian Orthodox Church (The Patriarchy of Moscow) is being actively discussed; according to witch 200 “easy access” churches are to be built in the city. The Argument of the Russian Orthodox Church is that the Russian capital requires new places of worship because the density per capita is lower here than in other regions of the country».

The Decision: In a meeting with Patriarch Kirill, Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that he allocated 60 plots of land for the construction of churches in the capital. This, according to the mayor, means the beginning of a big program, starting in April.

Let us remind you that were talking about allocating plots of land within the city with no compensation for it, with the possibility to register ownership rights over it.

Result: A foundation to support the construction of churches in Moscow. Land is already being handed over, and ground breaking construction has begun.

Example №2. From the statements of the education minister A. Fursenko we discover that positive dynamics in demography show the system of pre-school education is not prepared to provide all children with a place in kindergarten or with the basic services of pre-school education. A little more than 60% of the children have the opportunity to attend kindergartens. The waiting list continues to grow and consists of over 2 million people.

The Decision: As GZT.RU found out, the capital's kindergartens are preparing for physiologists, speech therapists, teachers of music drawing and other educators to be downsized. The Administration of Moscow took on a policy of overpopulating existing kindergartens. The huge waiting lines for a spot to attend kindergarten are going to be solved by remaking the performance rooms into extra sleeping areas. Educators say that kindergartens will cease to be institutions learning and become “storage compartments” instead, starting this September.

Result: On the 20th of May 2011, a nationwide hunger strike In defense for the rights of all Russian children to a quality pre-school education.

We, surely, welcome the administration’s decision to build a healthy society with high morals and would be glad to contribute to it what we can. We see how it can be done more effectively than just providing all believers with comfortable places to pray in.

To learn more about the proposed initiatives and to sign the petition, please visit the Foundations' website at


Tags: #Church, #Russia

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