Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

On January 8, 2019 the BBC reported that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow—formerly known as KGB agent Mikhailov (see Paul A. Goble’s article of November 6, 2018 among other sources)—warned his flock that their use of smartphones could hasten the advent of the Antichrist. Co-authors Anastasia Clark and Chris Bell write:

Speaking to Russian state TV, Patriarch Kirill said smartphone users should be careful when using the “worldwide web of gadgets” because it represented “an opportunity to gain global control over mankind”.

“The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the worldwide web, controlling all of humankind,” he said.

Speaking to Russian state TV, Patriarch Kirill said smartphone users should be careful when using the “worldwide web of gadgets” because it represented “an opportunity to gain global control over mankind”.

“Every time you use your gadget, whether you like it or not, whether you turn on your location or not, somebody can find out exactly where you are, exactly what your interests are and exactly what you are scared of,” Patriarch Kirill told Rossiya 1.

“If not today, then tomorrow methods and technology could appear that will not just provide access to all information but will also allow the use of this information.

“Do you imagine what power will be concentrated in the hands of those who gain knowledge about what is going on in the world?

“Such control from one place forebodes the coming of the Antichrist.”

(Read the full article here.)

In July 2012 (as Orthodoxy in Dialogue reported here in December 2017), Patriarch Kirill preached against “the advance of same-sex marriage throughout the West as ‘a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse.'”

Then, gay marriage; now, smartphones. 

Against this comical backdrop we must read Halya Coynash’s much more serious report, Russia Bulldozes Vast Amounts of Food while Tens of Millions Live below the Poverty Line, which appeared a day later (January 9, 2019) at Human Rights in Ukraine, the information website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG). Coynash writes:

It is three and a half years since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the destruction of food products ‘smuggled’ into Russia despite Moscow’s ban on such imports in retaliation for western sanctions. Despite widespread outrage over the move when tens of millions are living below the poverty line, the barbaric destruction has continued unabated.  

In St. Petersburg, a city where almost a million people died of starvation during the Blockade in World War II, 929 tons of ‘banned products’ from the EU and Ukraine were destroyed during 2018.

Within the first three years following Putin’s decree, 46 tons of products were crushed or incinerated in occupied Crimea, most of the food being from mainland Ukraine. 


The authorities, however, continued bulldozing or incinerating huge loads of cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables.  All that changed was how it was presented by the state-controlled media.  The latter stopped showing footage of food being thrown into incinerators, bulldozed, etc, increasingly avoided mentioning Putin’s direct role in the measures, and also began focusing on fruit and vegetables, rather than the ham, other meat products and cheese that were being destroyed.  There were, and remain, attempts to explain away the destruction as being linked with safety requirements, since the produce, lacking labels, was allegedly of dubious origin.  That would in no way explain the crushing of tons of apples and other fruit and vegetables from Ukraine or Poland, nor why equally dubious produce from countries that have not imposed sanctions on Russia get through.

The percentage of people living under the poverty line in Russia and occupied Crimea rose to 14.2% in the second quarter of 2018, or 20.8 million people.  In fact, experts criticize the methods used by Russia’s Statistics Department to get those results and suggest that the real figure is one and a half to two times higher (around 35 million). 

(Read the full article here.)

For context, 35 million is almost the entire population of Canada.

If the Church’s half of 21st-century Russia’s storied “Byzantine symphonia” stands silent while the state’s half destroys the food of the poor, we submit that this signals the presence and work of Antichrist more than…smartphones or gay marriage.

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