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Russian Orthodox official backs asylum for Snowden

August 01, 2013

A leading Russian Orthodox official has expressed support for Edward Snowden’s request for asylum in Russia, according to a report by the Russian news agency Interfax.

“Russia's image as a country supporting true ideals of freedom depends on how Russia will act in this situation,” said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Church and Society Relations, in reference to the US National Security Agency contractor who leaked details of mass surveillance programs. “The prospect of the global totalitarian electronic regime to appear becomes real.”

“If in the 20th century the roughest forms of such power worked though brutal enforcement, now they work through soft power, through total information gathering,” Chaplin said as he called for the protection of “real freedom, freedom from global ideological dictatorship, from [an] electronic concentration camp.”


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