Income gap in Russia endangers stability, church forum says

Poverty in a resource-rich country
Russia has climbed to No. 3 in the world in its number of billionaires, but a Moscow meeting of religious leaders, academics and public officials said the gap between rich and poor threatens the unity of the world’s biggest country.

The yearly forum, chaired by Patriarch Alexsy II of the Russian Orthodox Church, addressed the problem of poverty in resource-rich Russia. It also condemned efforts to sow discord in the Russian Orthodox Church as it moves toward reunion with an old breakaway émigré group.

“Right now the words ‘wealth’ and ‘poverty’ more and more signify the deep division of the sons and daughters of Russia, which gives rise to glaring moral problems and threatens peace and stability in society,” declared a statement released at the March 7 conclusion of the 11th World Russian People’s Council.


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