Bailiffs fight listless parents with cross

Bailiff's in the central Russian republic of Bashkortostan are using Orthodox priests in an unorthodox way of making absent fathers and mothers pay child support.

Apart from Orthodox priests, the republic’s bailiffs have called on Muslim clerics to help tackle the problem.

“Now the work on child support is carried jointly by bailiffs, Russian Orthodox Church and the Central Spiritual Muslim Agency,” Sergey Spatar from the republic’s Federal Bailiff Agency told the IA Regnum news agency.

“Last week bailiffs initiated and organized an event in the town of Oktyabrsky, where a local Orthodox priest, Father Sergiy, met with 14 people who are not paying child support, which included 2 women,” he added.

“He told about simple things: love your neighbor, care about children and quoted the Bible,” Spatar added.

At the same time, in the Altai region bailiffs try to encourage debtors by reading them poems about the importance of paying child support and traffic tickets.Some cartoons have also been used in the campaign.

Beginning next week, voice announcements in the form of short rhymes recorded by bailiffs will be aired by public address systems in all big shopping malls of the region’s capital, Barnaul, reports Itar Tass.

“We want to influence people with positive emotions,” said a spokesperson for the regional department of the federal bailiff service. “Usually people come to shopping malls in a good mood and may take our advices to heart.”

Cartoons made in similarly positive way have began to screen in Barnaul’s minibuses. The social experiment was developed together with students from Altai Construction College, who made two video clips for free. Authors think such cartoons should influence even persistent non-payers.