Smartphones are heralds of the Antichrist, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has warned.
In an interview with state-run Russia-1 TV, Patriarch Kirill said smartphones and social networks presented the danger of global control.
He said: 'The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the worldwide web, controlling all of humankind. Thus, the structure itself presents a danger,' he said.
'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,' he continued.
'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.'
Kirill said that 'if we don't want to bring the Apocalypse closer, there should be no single [control and access] centre'.
Using religious language, Kirill was echoing fears expressed more widely about the extent of the data collected by social media networks and the use to which it might be put in regulating the behaviour of users.