Can a single phrase, or even a word, detonate the information field? Absolutely. We've witnessed this on numerous occasions. In every journalism textbook, you'll find the most vivid example of this: the story of how Nathan Rotschild made an enormous fortune by learning of the French emperor's defeat before anyone else.
As the battle raged on, Nathan Rothschild received a message from one of his agents who was present at the battle. The message stated that the British forces, led by the Duke of Wellington, had emerged victorious. Recognizing the significance of this information, Nathan wasted no time. He immediately went to the London Stock Exchange to sell off a significant portion of British government bonds.
Rumors began to circulate that Nathan was selling, leading to a panic among other investors. The bond prices plummeted, and Nathan was able to repurchase a substantial number of bonds at a significantly reduced price. When the official news of the British victory reached the public, bond prices soared.
Nathan Rothschild had successfully used his early access to information to his advantage, amassing a considerable fortune. His story has since become legendary and is often cited as an example of the power of information in the world of finance. His famous adage: "He who controls information, controls the world" has since circled the globe.
There have been other vivid examples with a single word. In the Soviet era, the word "Onward!" (Poyekhali) marked the beginning of humanity's conquest of outer space. The power of words was celebrated in school textbooks with the legendary lines by poet Vadim Shefner: "With a word, you can kill, with a word, you can save, with a word, you can lead armies…"
Throughout human history, there have been countless instances where words changed the world. Not technology, not weapons, not money – but words.
Today, the information landscape exploded with one question on Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter). Perhaps the most controversial American billionaire, often referred to as a visionary and influencer, suddenly asked whether priests are really being imprisoned in Ukraine.
In our world, inundated with information flows, it can be difficult to hear something important. One piece of information is instantly overshadowed by another, and that by a third, and so it goes on and on.
Unlike exchange rates or oil prices, or celebrity gossip, the Church scarcely gets any media attention. In a world where millions of Christians live, the life of the Church is considered a niche topic, confined to professional media.
The persecution of Christians in African countries, oppression in the Middle East, the destruction of millennia-old holy sites, and the persecution of the canonical Church in Ukraine, along with the arrests of priests for dissent, are not a thing of the past; they are happening now. Yet the global information giants seem to turn a blind eye.
However, it took just one entry on social media to cause the information uproar. After Elon Musk’s post, more and more people started asking about the Ukrainian priests, and the internet erupted. Millions of views and comments flooded in. "Is this true?" "Can it be?" "It's impossible!" "Isn’t only Russia supposed to do such things? And yet look at this!”
Many people opened their eyes and ears. They found out that there is something else beyond what we hear on the news every day. They saw that there are different words.
And we know very well when those other words were first spoken. It has been approximately two thousand years. These words were uttered by one person. But they were so precise and redemptive that thinking people repeat them every day. If the other part of humanity knew about them, our information space would be filled with different news.
For now, we can only pass on the words of the Gospel to one another. God willing, these words will bring peace to the world.
He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 11:15)