Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus', the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, has not urged his flock to invest in Bitcoin, despite videos claiming otherwise.
A clip recently emerged claiming that Kirill had urged the faithful to invest in cryptocurrencies. While the video does include genuine comments from the patriarch regarding the benefits of robotics for the economy, and a mention of Bitcoin (BTC), the comments were heavily edited, with the narrator further claiming that the leader would bless potential crypto investors in a special service at a Moscow church.
The church's top media representative, Vakhtang Kipshidze, told local publication Daily Storm:
“This is an absolute deception, misleading those people who might think that the patriarch allegedly encourages someone to participate in financial fraud and speculation.”
Kipshidze said that he considered the fraudulent nature of the video to be apparent, stating, “It would never occur to any sane person that the patriarch would call for investing in some kind of fly-by-night scheme, the fraudulent nature of which, in my opinion, is quite obvious.”
Religious communities around the world have had varying opinions about cryptocurrencies, ranging from cautious approval to outright condemnation.
In the Islamic world, which has its own set of guidelines and laws pertaining to finance — and now digital assets — the acceptance of cryptocurrency is far from uniform.
Malaysia's shariah advisory council, for example, has declared that trading digital assets is permissible, while late last year, religious authorities in Indonesia have found it "haram," or forbidden, namely due to its speculative nature and purported propensity for fraud.