The Russian Orthodox Church and the Internet

  1. Lemma
  2. Православная церковь и Интернет
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 08-07-2018
  7. Православная церковь и Интернет
  8. Издательство «Открытые системы»
  9. church and technology - Russian Orthodox Church - Internet - modernity
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Православная церковь и Интернет. <em>Издательство «Открытые системы»</em>, (2003). Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. This is an interview on the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church towards new information technologies in general and the Internet in particular, conducted with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Petro Eremeev, Executive Secretary of Education of the Russian Orthodox Church.

      The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) started using computers at the end of the 1980s and created its first website in 1997. The interviewees view the Internet as a mostly positive force, and explain that in the future the Internet will have a bigger presence in society because of technological progress (the article dates from 2003). For example, new communication systems will allow TV streaming online and this will put an end to the monopoly of TV channels.

      The ROC has historically great respect for books and the printed texts. However, historically in Russia, most were illiterate until the 20th century, and oral preaching, icons, and Church signing spread the word of Christ. Today even those who can read, receive considerable information from images and sounds. The ROC is keeping up with this trend: it posts Church rituals and other materials online. Similarly, the ROC’s religious schools and academies teach the basics of modern media technologies as additional non-compulsory courses. Right now the ROC is preparing a program on new media technologies for its religious schools. The challenge is the ROC'S lack of computers to teach new technologies to a large number of students.

      ROC priests do not see paying for religious services online as problematic, but warn of fake religious organizations collecting donations online. They note that Internet phobia by religious people is predominantly an issue of ignorance.  As computers become more available, people wil have less prejudice against this technology. The ROC’s metropolitan bishop Kiril (future patriarch) said that technical progress was basically neutral and it was only the human factor that could make it dangerous. The Church cannot stop progress: it can only guide on how to use technology correctly.

      The Church praises the future advancement of the Internet with its possibility to create numerous sources of information. There is one possible problem that may arise: getting stuck in an information bubble, i.e. a person may get attached to a small number of sites he or she likes at the expense of others. The Internet can therefore potentially not only unite people but also divide them and marginalize certain groups.