Relic to promote motherhood in Russia

Church wants belt thought to be Virgin Mary's to be taken to pregnancy centres to discourage abortions.

    A sacred relic, believed by some Orthodox Christians to be the belt of the Virgin Mary, is drawing thousands of Russian pilgrims in search of a cure for a myriad of ailments including infertility. But the treasure – a 2,000 year old cincture woven from camel fur - is also having political resonance.

    Russian leaders have called the country’s shrinking population a matter of national security and now the influential Orthodox church has joined the fight.

    It wants to take the relic to pregnancy centres to discourage women from having abortions and save mother Russia by promoting motherhood.

    Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Samara.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.