Mobile technology is allowing for more interaction between priests, their congregations, and the wider world.
When the bells of the church in Krasnoslobodsk, near Penza, begin to ring, it's a GSM chip that makes them sing. The church was wired in 2011, along with others in the region. Now, a priest has only to call a series of numbers, and village churches throughout the region remind the people that it is time to come and pray.
This is just one example of how mobile technology, so often a malignant spiritual influence in many lives, can be turned and used for the good. There are now also groups on social media, such as "Batushka-Online" on Vkontakte, that allow for priests to preach the gospel not only to small village congregations, but to the entire online world.
No question is off limits for the Online Fathers
Thousands of questions a year are directed at the online elders, ranging from the profound to the absurd. "How do I meet a good girl?" "How can I grow a beard as nice as yours, Father?" The project now has over 100,000 subscribers on VKontake alone, and features elders from all walks of life and from many different locations, in order to better help those seeking advice.
Although a great way to get introduced to Church for those who are not currently very active in it, the online fathers are not a one-stop shop or spiritual panacea. One of the project participants, Father Alexander Kukhta, intends his videos and participation in the project to help lead others deeper into the Mysteries of the Faith. "My videos are fast food, McDonald's; learn to chew and swallow here. And if you want a normal meal, move on, read, think."
So the next time you feel a desire to look up something unedifying with your phone, perhaps you can seek help from one of the Online Elders instead.
Read more on this topic in Russian.