The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said the data-gathering capacity of devices such as smartphones risks bringing humanity closer to the arrival of the Antichrist. In an interview shown Monday on state TV, Patriarch Kirill said the church does not oppose technological progress but is concerned that "someone can know exactly where you are, know exactly what you are interested in, know exactly what you are afraid of" and that such information could be used for centralized control of the world, as reported by the Associated Press.
"Control from one point is a foreshadowing of the coming of the Antichrist, if we talk about the Christian view. The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the world wide web that controls the entire human race," he said.
Patriarch Kirill, an avid supporter of the Kremlin's policies, had earlier called on world leaders to condemn Ukraine's move to create an independent church in its split from Russia. The move came amid increasing tensions between Moscow and Kiev as the two countries continue trading blame for the worst crisis in years over the Kerch Strait.