Church on the IIN (Individual Identification Number) : Once again on the Russian Orthodox Church's position concerning individual identification and new technologies

  1. Lemma
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 17-05-2018
  7. Яковлева, О.А. [Author]. Церковь об ИНН: еще раз о позиции Русской православной церкви по проблеме идентификации личности и новых технологиях
  8. Стояние за истину
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - new technologies - personal data - Information technology - Orthodoxy and information technologies - biometrics
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Яковлева, О.А. Церковь об ИНН: еще раз о позиции Русской православной церкви по проблеме идентификации личности и новых технологиях (2011). <em>Стояние за истину: Украина Шенгенская</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The article comments on the official statement of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) regarding the new individual identification technologies issued on June 6, 2010. The author states that the ROC’s document once again confirmed the invariability and firmness of the Church’s position as far as the right of citizens to live in society in accordance with their religious beliefs is concerned. The article points out that, contrary to the opinion of some priests, the official ROC position does not consider as sinful the use of identification and registration technologies when dealing with the state, “provided that a person knows all the information and symbols stored and transmitted with the help of these technologies, and it does not conflict with his beliefs and will.” At the same time the new document warns of the danger to human freedom caused by technical means: these devices which “constantly accompany a person or are inseparable from his body” can be used to control and manage a person.

      The ROC thus recognizes the right of people not to accept certain symbols and technologies. The author also points out that the Church has raised the issue of new technologies with representatives of the state and insisted on the principle of voluntariness in the use of new ways of identifying the individual. The Orthodox community, together with the ROC, is constantly working with all branches of government to regularize the use of traditional systems of collecting, processing and recording personal data and personal confidential information without the use of automated (electronic, nano-electronic) digital, alphanumeric identification, bar coding, radio frequency, biometric and other means of automatic human identification.

      Such positions had already been expressed by both the former and current Patriarchs of the ROC, Alexy II and Cyril. The Holy Synod has been studying and commenting on the electronic identification and new technologies problem since 2000 and has repeatedly expressed its concern about the discrimination that the new identification system may entail for those people who for various reasons refuse to participate in it.

      The author mentions that some priests have misunderstood and misrepresented the ROC's position. This was, for example, the case of the former Archbishop Alexy of Orekhovo-Zuevo who had called for using sanctions against those monks and believers who refused to accept IIN and new passports.