A senior Russian cleric has criticized gender reassignment surgeries and called for the criminal prosecution of parents who teach their children that they can choose their gender.
“Such surgeries are, in my opinion and in the opinion of the church, a crime against God,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s external relations department, said in an interview.
He explained that the church doesn’t recognize a person’s “new” gender after sex affirmation surgery.
Hilarion reiterated that the Russian Orthodox Church “will never recognize such lifestyle as normal… when children from the cradle are being taught that there is a biological gender and a gender they can choose.”
The cleric stressed that parents who plant these ideas into their children’s head should be criminally prosecuted.
According to Hilarion, a child should wait until full legal age to decide “if they want to stay as God created them” or change their gender.
In 2017, the Russian Orthodox church criticized a law introduced in Greece, allowing gender reassignment surgeries for teenagers as young as 15.
In Russia, sex affirmation surgeries are permissible for citizens aged 18 and above, if they are diagnosed as transsexuals.
According to experts, transsexualism is a rare condition that may affect 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 100,000 cases.