Georgian authorities reassure Christians about use of digital IDs

Apr 26, 2013
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Rumors that electronic ID cards carry hidden satanic symbols have swirled in Georgia since the cards were introduced in 2011. Efforts by the Georgian Orthodox Church to quash the story, even a ruling approving the cards by the church’s Holy Synod, seem not to be working, so the government has stepped in, EurasiaNet.org writes.

The Justice Ministry last week released a video showing how the cards are used. In the video a young man assures viewers that the cards do not carry the mark of the Antichrist, and says the authorities made sure the number 666 does not appear on the cards.

The video explains that users’ personal data and facial image are stored on a chip embedded in the card, according to Civil.ge, which says that more than 700,000 electronic IDs are now in circulation.

On 21 April, the day following the video’s release, about 100 members of Orthodox groups staged a protest against the cards at the ministry buildings, Civil.ge writes, warning about both spiritual and political misuse of the cards. Similar demonstrations occurred in January and last summer. One cleric said in the future political forces might misuse the information stored on the cards.

A woman indicates the devilish face some Georgians believe is hidden in the new electronic ID cards. Photo from a video by netgazeti.ge/YouTube

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Transitions Online

Transitions Online (www.tol.org) is an Internet magazine that covers political, social, cultural, and economic issues in the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. The magazine has a strong network of local contributors, who provide valuable insight into events in the region’s 29 countries.
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