It seems that one of the dominant characteristics of former Communist countries is their determination to build strong family life. They do so by striking quite a different path from that chosen by western nations.

This characteristic may be due to the fact that individuals from former Communist countries were ruthlessly ground down by the boots of autocratic Communist leaders, who controlled every facet of their lives, including family life.

Communist leaders regarded the family as an enemy of the state. This is because families pass down faith, culture and traditions, which lead to individuals who are more likely to resist the tyranny of the state.  Hence, children were removed from their mothers as early as possible and placed in state controlled nurseries and child care.

Education was geared to instructing children to obey the all-pervasive state. Individuality and independent thought were detested and ruthlessly stamped out.

Perhaps there is another reason that former Communist countries are following an independent path from western countries on family matters.   These countries have observed the dysfunction and chaos of western societies, which have abandoned faith and traditional values and assumed, instead, a secular, materialistic society.  In the west, fulfillment of the individual, sexually, physically and emotionally takes precedence over all else, including the family.  It leaves in its wake, destroyed and broken lives.

Consequently, no amount of intimidation and pressure from the West, especially from the various components of the European Union, have coerced these countries to bend to western values. Specific countries that have resisted this western pressure include Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania and Russia.  For example:

  • Poland 
    Poland included protection for the unborn child in its constitution after it became an independent country in 1989. ­The Human Rights Council and the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 – 2008, ordered Poland to provide effective mechanisms to provide women with access to abortion. The western pro-abortion NGO, Amnesty International, has also pressured Poland in this regard. Poland has ignored this pressure
  • Hungary
    To offset this pressure, REAL Women was one of 66 NGOs worldwide, which signed a Declaration supporting marriage of a man and a woman in the Hungarian Constitution. REAL Women also sent individual letters on July 10, 2013, to the members of the European Parliament, reminding them that the Hungarian Constitution is based on the fundamental norms of democracy, the rule of law and the sovereign rights of the Hungarian people.
    A new constitution drafted by Hungary which embraced tradition and Christian values, included the provision that marriage be a union between a man and a woman only. The Council of Europe, the European Parliament and European Commission and the Council of the European Union were enraged by these provisions and are currently pressuring Hungary to change its position.
  • Estonia
    A petition rejecting same-sex marriage, signed by 38,000 Estonians (2.8% of the total population of Estonia, which is 1.34 million, the largest signature gathering operation in Estonian history), was presented to the Parliament.
  • Romania 
    In their view, “The family has as its primary aim, our continuity and we will continue to support its development”.
    The women’s organization of the Romanian Conservative Party adopted a resolution opposing same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption in light of the country’s significant reduction in population.
    Representatives of all five political parties have rejected any legislation which diminishes the family by re-defining marriage.
  • Lithuania
    In June, 2013, the Lithuanian National Parliament voted 46 to 19 in favour of a bill to limit abortion to circumstances of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. The former Communist-era abortion law allowed unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks gestation. This had caused 10,000 abortions to be performed annually in a population of 3.5 million people.
  • Russia
    The New York Times published an article on July 1, 2013, about US conservative groups, including the World Congress of Families, approving the changes in the Russian law. The article admitted that Russians are far less supportive of homosexual rights than are Americans. According to the Pew Research Centre report, released on June 4, 2013, only 16% of Russians believe homosexuality should be accepted by society. The article also mentioned that there is little support for gay rights in some Eastern European countries.Moscow has also signalled that it will ensure that homosexual couples from abroad do not adopt Russian orphans. Legislation to this effect is expected this autumn in the Russian Parliament.In July, 2013, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, signed into law measures to prohibit homosexual propaganda targetting children, and to prohibit promoting the equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, gay parades and same-sex marriages. Previously, Russia has passed legislation which limited abortions. Mr. Putin warned western countries to keep out of Russian affairs on these matters, as the BBC, the New York Times, Reuters and the American Press were all bitterly complaining about these new Russian laws.

    REALity  Volume VVVIII No. 8 August 2013