Some Orthodox Churches Object to National Identity Cards

April 30, 2011

The Russian and Greek Orthodox churches are objecting to plans in both countries to introduce electronic national identity cards intended to streamline bureaucracy and, in the case of Greece, facilitate integration into the European Union.

Church officials are demanding close study of the cards and asking that authorities make them optional. They say that the personal and financial information that would be consolidated on the microchips in the cards could be manipulated to discriminate against believers.

In an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, an official government newspaper, earlier this month, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations, said: “Credit cards, which a person uses to take money from a bank machine or for payment in a store, are one thing, but a personal card in which all the information about a person’s life and activities will be entered, about his bank accounts, health and travels is a different matter. These are different grades of state control over people.”

Read the full article here.

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