Moscow, December 24, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has denounced the comparison of QR codes certifying a person's coronavirus vaccination status to "the Antichrist's mark" as sinful.
"The speculations on vaccination or the designation of a relevant QR code as being equal to the Antichrist's mark are inappropriate and sinful. The sowing of panic is also a sin," Patriarch Kirill said at a Moscow diocesan convention.
Such speculations prevent people from understanding that "they become enslaved by the Antichrist through rejecting loyalty to the Lord in their deeds and words, and the notorious mark is only an outer sign and a visible expression of this apostasy, against which every faithful Christian would firmly safeguard themselves in their love for Christ," he said.
While the State Duma discussed the legislation introducing the use of QR codes serving as vaccination certificates for visiting public places at the first reading, an exception was proposed for visiting places of worship, he said.
"Of course, it would be absolutely unthinkable if a parishioner had to produce a QR code or some other civilian permit to enter a church," he said.
The use of QR codes in fact introduces a simple and, most importantly, unjudicial mechanism of depriving a person of their basic rights, such as freedom of movement or freedom of being present at public places until this person complies with the QR code requirements, he said.
"In other words, the problem is not about vaccination or QR codes, but about how this system could be used in the future. We do hope that the government agencies, primarily the legislative branch, will heed the people's opinion concerned about changes that might occur in society's life resulting from the increasingly widespread digitalization," the patriarch said.
"Any technology can be useful only when it is controlled by humans, not when a human life is made dependent on inanimate technology," he said.