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Russian Orthodox Church Officially Opposes Compulsory Vaccinations of Children

From the Patriarchal Commission on the Family


Moscow Cathedral -  Russian orthodox Church - Imperial Russia - Peter Crawford
Moscow Cathedral - Russian orthodox Church - Imperial Russia - Peter Crawford

On the Rights of Parents in the Field of Child Health Care and Immunoprophylaxis

Statement by the Patriarchal Commission on the Family, & Protection of Motherhood and Childhood

The Patriarchal Commission on Family, Maternity and Childhood has received appeals to comment on the public discussion of measures proposed by individual legislators, representatives of government departments, and specialists, in order to increase the coverage of the population — especially children — with preventive vaccines.

Recently, at high-level events, the following measures were proposed for public discussion, in particular:

restriction of the right of parents to informed volontari consent to prophylactic vaccination of children or refusal of them;

restricting the rights of unvaccinated children to attend classes in educational organizations;
introduction of compulsory vaccination passports for children (including electronic ones) and fixing in them the reasons for refusing these or other vaccinations;

limiting the spread of information that is critical to vaccine prevention.

In this regard, the Patriarchal Commission considers it necessary to state the following:

"The Orthodox Church has consistently high respect for medical activities, which is based on the ministry of love, aimed at preventing and alleviating human suffering" [1]. Thanks to advances in medical science, including in the field of prevention, the prevention and treatment of many diseases, as well as the serious relief of the suffering they bring to people, became possible.

The church does not evaluate the effectiveness and risk of side effects of certain specific medical interventions and drugs. Such an assessment is the subject of research based on scientific standards of evidence and free academic discussion of specialists. At the same time, “The Church warns against attempts to absolutize any medical theories” [2], recalling that scientific views are developed and are always open to valid criticism, which may well lead to correction and, sometimes, revision of familiar ideas.

At the same time, the Church cannot deviate from the evaluation of the moral aspects of this sphere of human activity. Her position, in particular, is based on the following principle: “The doctor-patient relationship should be based on respect for integrity, free choice, and the dignity of the individual. Man’s manipulation is unacceptable even for the sake of the most good purposes ”[3].

First and foremost, concern for the welfare of children, including their health, is entrusted by God to their parents. The state and society should respect the priority of parental rights and responsibilities, based on the presumption of their good faith. Parents should make decisions related to the upbringing of children, their education, and their healthcare. The exception to this principle can only be deliberately malicious or criminal actions of parents.

It is worth recalling that the recognition in the legal systems of various countries of the need for informed voluntary consent to medical intervention and the right to refuse it was a consequence of the condemnation of Nazi crimes in the Nuremberg trial, including compulsory medical manipulations and experiments they carried out on people. Since then, respect for these ethical and legal principles has become a familiar feature of every normal society.

These principles are recognized by Russian law. A number of federal laws proclaim the right of parents to give informed voluntary consent to medical intervention in relation to their children, including preventive vaccinations, or to refuse it [4].

It is well known that, along with the risk of infectious diseases, there is also a risk of serious complications — even death — as a result of prophylactic vaccination. In such a situation, it is the patient himself who should make the choice. In the case of a child, the parents should make their choice in each particular case, taking into account the advice and recommendations of specialists, as well as other information. No one has the right to make this choice for them, even if guided by the child’s own well-informed understanding.

The Patriarchal Commission considers that:

1. Parents should retain the right to make informed decisions regarding the health of their children, including preventive vaccinations, without being subjected to any pressure. Persecution of parents for the use of this right is unacceptable.
2. Parents should not be compelled in any way to state the reasons on which their choices are based. The fact of medical intervention or refusal of it should remain a medical secret protected by law.
3. The right of children to education, including the possibility of studying in educational institutions, should not be limited because their parents refused to carry out preventive vaccinations for them, except in cases where there is the occurrence of mass infectious diseases or the immediate threat of epidemics.
4. Parents should be able to make their own decisions, independently receiving and evaluating various information, including critical information. Restricting the distribution of critical information affecting vaccine prevention will not lead to increased parental confidence in professionals and the health care system. Such trust will be facilitated only by honest and open provision of parents with complete, verified and reliable information, including information about the risks associated with vaccination or specific vaccinations.

In this regard, the Patriarchal Commission on Family, Protection of Motherhood and Childhood cannot support the measures listed earlier.

[1] The Foundations of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, XI.1.

[2] Ibid., Xi.3.

[3] Ibid., Xi.3.

[4] Art. 20 h. 2 of the Federal Law "On the Fundamentals of the Protection of Citizens' Health in the Russian Federation", art. 5 p. 1 and art. 11 p. 2 of the Federal Law “On Immunoprophylaxis of Infectious Diseases”, art. 7 p. 2 of the Federal Law “On the Prevention of the Spread of Tuberculosis in the Russian Federation”, etc.


RaDonna Fox

I wholeheartedly agree with the statements in this article and appreciate the fact that the church took a stand on multiple measures regarding vaccines. Stripping families of the ability to send their children to school due to their religious convictions is wrong, there are many reasons it's wrong, but none-the-less it's vital that we as parents have religious freedom and choice when it comes to vaccines. Thank you!

Angus Files

Thanks Stephen, well done Rome.

Pharma For Prison


The Vatican has likewise objected to mandatory vaccination with a letter stating its position on parental rights and citing Canon law, which can be read here:
Stephen Blendell


Very good and glad to hear about it, similar presentation with, Glasgow Congregation Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland , St Jude's Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow.

Audio Sermon available on mp3 By Rev,R, MacLeod. on 21 April 2019
Spiritual warfare and the promise to those who overcome .

A sore and bitter warfare over welfare and vaccinations mandates? an indication of the fierceness of the battle , a raging warfare of words and medicalised terminology ?
A present strong crying of tears for it? injections of fiery darts, swift and silent ?
No ordinary battle?

Aimee Doyle

@Gary - From what I've read, testifying in hearings, even in large numbers, even by educated professionals, doesn't seem to work.

I'm wondering if a one-on-one approach would work better - basically blitzing legislators' offices - in one-on-one appointments. Constituents can ask to make appointments with their legislators - we should have that right in a Democracy. Constituents can come with children in tow and evidence in hand.

I wonder if it's easier to convince others when you are sitting with them and looking them in the eyes, without the immediate distractions of a hearing or having pharma lobbyists feed talking points.

I know that persuasion takes time. The first few times someone hears a new idea, it's easy to dismiss. But over time, new ideas become familiar and not as "out there".

Anyway, something to think about.

Gary Ogden

Pan's bill turning over medical decisions for the children of California to an unelected bureaucrat passed the "Health" Committee 5-2. What was most appalling to me was how ill-prepared were the legislators to even question Pan's lies. Decades of propaganda have made most people so ill-informed about quackery in Medicine, they don't even know what questions to ask. I would guess between 1,000 and 2,000 parents, doctors, nurses, EMT's, and others testified in opposition, since their testimony took 3 1/2 hours. If there were 10 per minute, that would be 2,100; if 5 per minute, 1,050. The legislators paid no attention.

Amrah Andrews

@Bonnie Camo: The Russian Orthodox Church in the U.S. is ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) and is not technically seperate from the church in Russia. It is under the omophorion of his Holiess Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Metroplitian Hilarion is the head of the Russian Church in the U.S. but under the authority of Patriarch Kyrill.

cia parker


It's Russian Christians rather than Soviet Communists defending the human right to free and informed consent to medical interventions, and I think that makes all the difference in the world.

Caroline McIlhenney



Orthodox here, this statement would apply to both US Russian Orthodox and Russian orthodoxas they are the same, but in the Orthodox Church individuals and priests will be left to their own discretion on the matter and this statement does not count as a rule or a law.
I’m proud to see the church make a statement like this, as normally, hierarchy do not get involved in personal or political statements. But people need to know that it is fundamentally immoral to force medical procedures on anyone.

John Stone

Perhaps something so eloquently and logically reasoned could become a model for other religious denominations? People with religious affiliations should send this document as an example to their leaders.

Grace Green

God bless the Patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church! What an honest and perceptive statement theirs is. Hang your heads in shame all you churches and other religions in the west.
Bob Moffit, with all due respect, I think the USA and UK alike have been fed a lot of propaganda about Russia for many years. As a classical music lover I have a warm affection for the Russian people and what I know of their culture. I had heard that Russia was also contemplating making vaccines mandatory, so I hope President Putin will take seriously this public statement as I believe he's a member of this church.
Bonnie Camo, I would have thought this would apply to the Russian Orthodox Church wherever it is, but of course that may put it at odds with the governments in those places. We will no doubt all be watching with interest!

Gary Ogden

"First and foremost, concern for the welfare of children, including their health, is entrusted by God to their parents." A beautiful, profoundly true statement. Impossible to argue against it, on any moral or ethical grounds, but impossible to fathom by our utterly corrupt, craven, politicians. This afternoon our own Josef Stalin's bill receives its first hearing in the California Senate's "health" committee. I am unable to attend, but will be watching the live feed. Only we, the people, can put a stop to medical fascism.

Bonnie Camo MD

Does this apply only to the Russian Orthodox church in Russia, or also in the US?

Bob Moffit

"These principles are recognized by Russian law. A number of federal laws proclaim the right of parents to give informed voluntary consent to medical intervention in relation to their children, including preventive vaccinations, or to refuse it"

At my admittedly advanced age .. I never thought I would see the day when RUSSIA defends the right of parents to give informed voluntary consent to medical intervention .. while the country I grew up in and love with all my heart … RESORTS TO CENSORSHIP AND COERCION to force parents to vaccinate their child.

We live in a world that has gone completely MAD...….

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