Report: Parents of Injured Baby Choose Emergency Baptism Over Hospital Visit, With Fatal Consequences

If your two-month-old infant is hurt in a traffic accident, do you take him to the nearest hospital — or to a church?

To one religious couple, the answer was obvious:

A couple in Russia face jail after their religious zeal compelled them to drive their child, injured in a car crash, to church for an urgent baptism rather than to hospital. … The boy sustained a brain injury in a minor crash in St. Petersburg on Saturday despite being in a child safety seat.

The baby died.

A report by a leading Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, which cites the website Fontanka, says that

The worried parents sped him up to the church because otherwise he would be denied the Kingdom of Heaven.

Church authorities were quick to distance themselves from the fatal parental decision. According to the press agency UPI, a spokesman for the St. Petersburg Orthodox Church said

“This is superstition, not religion. They should have gone to the hospital.”

In a display of candor rarely rivaled by American law enforcement, a Russian investigator working on the case added

“A psychiatric ward is the best temple for such people.”

Аминь, comrade.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.